The Produce Retail PodcastThe Produce Retail Podcast

Associated Food Stores director of produce and floral Leigh Vaughn

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We're delighted to welcome as our guest for this week's episode Leigh Vaughn, director of produce and floral for Associated Food Stores. Leigh has been with AFS for 16 years now and was with Lee’s Marketplace for 13 years before that. In this week's conversation, he and The Produce Retail Podcast host Ashley Nickle discuss how Leigh got started on the retail side of the business, including how he would assess employees' potential for the produce department; how he made the transition to wholesale and works with produce supervisors and managers for the stores AFS serves; the resources that AFS provides those stores, including a traveling regional produce seminar and a learning management system, and how those have been/are being developed; the opportunities AFS is creating for produce department employees to earn certificates and explore the career paths available to them; how AFS sets up for success its remodels and new store openings; the incorporation of more innovation refrigeration, including the ROI on that equipment; the increase in cross-merchandising between departments and the breaking down of silos that's needed for more of that meal solutions presentation to occur; the growth of fresh-cut produce, the labor required for it, and the decision-making process on what to do in-house and what to do at a commissary; and more. Hope you enjoy the conversation as much as I did!

For more episodes featuring executive perspective, check out this curated playlist dedicated to conversations with current and former vice presidents of produce, directors of produce, and other executive roles. 

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Podcast Background

This podcast is designed to cover all things produce retail: strategy, partnerships, planning, training, leadership, communication, merchandising and beyond. Scroll through our episodes list to find conversations with vice presidents and directors of produce, merchandisers, produce managers, retail dietitians and more.

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The Produce Retail Podcast is hosted by Ashley Nickle, a former trade journalist turned consultant. Have an idea for a topic or a guest? Give her a shout on LinkedIn. 

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The Produce Retail Podcast

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