New Seasons/New Leaf CEO to Depart

Bridget Goldschmidt
Managing Editor
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New Seasons/New Leaf CEO to Depart Forrest Hoffmaster Strategic Growth Plan
Forrest Hoffmaster

West Coast independent grocers New Seasons Market and New Leaf Community Markets, operators within the Good Food Holdings family of brands, have revealed a strategic growth plan that includes a change in leadership and two new store leases.

Forrest Hoffmaster will step down from his leadership position as CEO for both banners in late March 2021. A comprehensive executive search is currently underway, with a successor expected to be named before Hoffmaster departs. Hoffmaster will continue to lead both organizations, along with the transition team to ensure a smooth transition.

“I am incredibly proud of what we have been able to accomplish together, navigating the pandemic and unprecedented disruption in our industry,” said Hoffmaster. “We have transformed our growth strategy and built stronger capabilities, while deepening our local commitment and leading with values for the long-term health of the organization. With our supportive partners at Good Food Holdings and a strong senior leadership team in place, our company is primed for a new executive to take the foundation and continue investments in growth, innovation and experience.”

Additionally, New Seasons Market and New Leaf Community Markets are focusing strategic efforts on stronger localization for each banner to grow market share, create a customer-first experience and help local communities. Both grocers will work on program innovation and improvements in their private label offering, store design and growth, food and beverage offerings, and customer experience.

Also as part of the strategic growth plan, New Seasons is opening two new stores in the greater Portland, Ore., metro area in Lake Oswego, Ore., and Vancouver, Wash. Each store will offer a deep selection of high-quality local brands, as well as more than 100 competitively paid jobs for neighborhood residents.

“We are excited to deepen our relationship in two communities that know and love the core New Seasons experience,” said Dave Kauder, New Seasons SVP. “Both stores will continue to deliver what our customers love — quality, organic and locally sourced produce, meat and other grocery staples.”

The 27,800-square foot Lake Oswego store will be located in the Palisades Marketplace at 1377 McVey Avenue and is expected to open in spring 2022, while the Vancouver store, the second New Seasons store in that city, is slated to open in a 25,000-square foot space as part of a new development at Main Street and W 15th Street in fall 2023.

Continues Kauder, “In Vancouver, we will step into a new era, introducing the developing downtown market to our next-generation store with improved prepared food offerings, an updated grocery format and mix refined for the community, and integrated technology that provides a more robust customer experience.”

As well as the new store openings, both grocers will continue to invest in existing supermarkets, including the relocation of the Capitola, California, New Leaf store to the King’s Plaza Shopping Center by 2024.

New Seasons currently employs 3,500 associates across 19 stores in Oregon, Washington and Northern California serving a mix of locally sourced and organic items, grocery favorites, and chef-made grab-and-go meals. With five stores along California’s Central Coast, organic and natural grocer New Leaf has been a wholly-owned subsidiary of New Seasons Market since Nov. 2013 and is the first grocer in California to achieve B Corporation certification. Both grocers commit 10% of its after-tax profits to the communities they serve.

Los Angeles-based Good Food Holdings is the holding company for five independent grocers: Bristol Farms, Metropolitan Market, Lazy Acres Natural Market, New Seasons and New Leaf. Each banner has its own leadership team, company culture, operating philosophy and go-to market strategy. Good Food Holdings is a subsidiary of Emart, part of The Shinsegae Group, a global retailer based in Seoul, South Korea.

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