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05/06/2021

Foxtrot Prepares to Grow Private Label Offering

Innovative retail concept hires SVP, corporate executive chef
Bridget Goldschmidt
Managing Editor
Bridget Goldschmidt profile picture
Foxtrot Prepares to Grow Private Label Offering Mitch Madoff Tae Strain
Left to right: Mitch Madoff and Tae Strain

Foxtrot, an innovative corner store, café and delivery retail market, has committed to expand its private label offering by hiring Mitch Madoff as its SVP of private label and supply chain, and Tae Strain as its corporate executive chef. In their new roles, Madoff and Strain will amp up Foxtrot’s private label business across its café, prepared foods, shelf-stable items and gifting options.

“Our private label represents the core of what we love at Foxtrot  finding and developing the most delicious products from all corners of the culinary universe, and delivering them right to our customers’ doors,” explained Mike LaVitola, CEO and co-founder of Chicago-based Foxtrot. “We’re thrilled to welcome Mitch and Chef Tae, who together bring world-class culinary talent and passion to our version of convenience. We are excited to set a new standard for what customers can expect out of their local market.”

Madoff brings to Foxtrot extensive knowledge of the private label space, having spent the past 20 years at Whole Foods Market. As VP of exclusive brands for the Austin, Texas-based chain, he oversaw some of its most well-known and profitable brands. A seasoned food industry veteran and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Madoff will now lead Foxtrot’s private label line, which consists of such unique packaged foods as colorful gummy snack mixes, and an adult version of Oatmeal Cream Pie containing bourbon. This summer, under Madoff’s direction, Foxtrot will roll out an ice cream line.

“I’ve been in the business of private label for a long time, and the way Foxtrot approaches their product creation is unlike any other brand out there,” said Madoff. “It’s the mindset and passion for bringing joy to the customer through the product experience that will make them a leader in the retail and convenience space. I’m thrilled to be joining such an innovative and forward-thinking team.”

As corporate executive chef, Strain will guide the recipe development of private label items and “Meals by Foxtrot,” a menu of grab-and-go breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack items. Chef Tae brings to his latest position 15-plus years of diverse cooking experience in award-winning and critically lauded restaurants. Most recently, Strain fully rebranded the menu of David Chang’s Momofuku CCDC in Washington, D.C., cementing the restaurant’s reputation as a top dining destination in the region. Before that, he worked at The Progress restaurant in San Francisco as chef de cuisine, helping the restaurant earn its first Michelin Star.

“What drew me to Foxtrot was their sense of integrity and ambition,” observed Strain. “They have this incredible energy, and are truly dedicated to creating a unique experience for their guests beyond the status quo of the convenience model. It’s rare to see groups in this sector be so invested in evolving their culinary program. I have the utmost respect for the team, and am grateful to bring a new perspective as we define what our food can be.”

Introduced in 2014, Foxtrot combines an upscale corner store and café with app-based purchasing that makes its entire inventory available for delivery in less than an hour. The rapidly expanding company currently has 12 stores in Chicago, Dallas and Washington, D.C., with plans to open nine more locations by the end of the year. Additionally, consumers across the country can buy select items from Foxtrot via the company’s online Ship Shop.

The first national certified-organic grocer, Whole Foods has more than 500 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The grocer is No. 24 on The PG 100 list, Progressive Grocer’s 2020 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, while its parent company, Seattle-based Amazon, is No. 2 on PG’s list.

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