Straub's Adds Culinary Director

ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- Culinary arts veteran Gretchen Morfogen has joined Straub's Markets here as director of culinary operations, where she will create management systems for business growth and assist in preparing for this summer's opening of Straub's fifth store in Ellisville, Mo.

“Gretchen’s leadership will further our longtime commitment to deliver the highest quality products and the best customer service,” said J.W. “Trip” Straub.

Morfogen has more than 27 years experience in the food industry, including past career assignments in New York, Colorado, California, and France. She was on the grand opening team of Dean & DeLuca in Saint Helena, Calif., where she acquired extensive knowledge of gourmet specialty products including cheeses, caviar, pates, charcuterie, truffles, smoked fish and wines.

Morfogen also worked for Whole Foods Market as a specialty team leader for the opening of the St. Louis store and as culinary director of the “Whole Lifestyle Center” classroom.

In November 2007, Straub’s Markets said it will open a new store, the first addition to family-owned chain in over 40 years. The 40,000-square-foot Straub’s Market and Café, which will be over three times the size of the operator’s four other stores, will carry on the family retailer’s tradition of high service and quality while also incorporating new features such as a full-service cheese department, 150-seat indoor/outdoor café, and a cooking school.

Trip Staub said the company’s fifth store is being designed as a destination experience vs. a typical grocery. “There will be many surprises for customers,” he added.

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