Organic and natural grocery store chain Earth Fare has promoted Mitch Orland to the role of SVP of merchandising and procurement. In this position, Orland will oversee the selection of products on Earth Fare’s shelves, ensuring that each item adheres to Earth Fare’s rigorous Food Philosophy that bans the use of harmful additives and artificial ingredients. Orland was previously Earth Fare’s executive chef from 2005 to 2012, in which role he created many of the iconic dishes offered by the grocer. He rejoined the company in 2020 in a similar role.
“In addition to being a visionary leader, chef, entrepreneur and innovator, Mitch’s approach to healthy and natural foods embodies everything we value at Earth Fare,” said Earth Fare COO Henry Kugler. “We would not be who we are today as a company without his contributions over the past two decades, and we are extremely lucky that Mitch has brought his considerable talent and holistic ethos back to us.”
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Before coming back to Earth Fare, Orland worked for such natural food companies as Wild Oats, Sunflower Market, Fresh & Easy, Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, and Whole Foods Market. A graduate of the University of Florida and the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Art, he is the founder of Greenfire Growth Collective, a natural product consulting firm, and founding chef and owner of BimBeriBom, a restaurant in his hometown of Asheville, N.C.
“Returning to Earth Fare has been a full-circle experience for me, and I feel very at home here,” noted Orland. “I am honored to work with the skilled and passionate team of Earth Fare merchants, and I look forward to the evolution of our merchandising and purchasing strategies as we strive to exceed our customers’ expectations both today and in the future.”
In other Earth Fare news, the company now offers a Healthy Rewards program. Customers who sign up now can earn 1,000 points.
Operated since 2020 by hospitality and medical facility management company Hulsing Enterprises; its president and CEO, Dennis Hulsing; and Kugler, Asheville, N.C.-based Earth Fare operates more than 19 natural and organic grocery stores in eight Midwestern and Southeastern states. Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods with more than 500 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Seattle-based Amazon, which is No. 2 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.