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Fresh City adds two C-level execs

Kathy Mavretic and Emilia Cancelli join the omnichannel grocer
L to R: Kathy Mavretic and Emilia Cancelli

Fresh City has added two executives to the leadership team.

Kathy Mavretic joins as chief people officer, a newly created role at Fresh City. A food retail veteran, Mavretic spent more than 20 years in various roles at Starbucks. Most recently, she was director of retail at Greenhouse, an organic beverage company in Toronto. Mavretic will be charged with helping to nurture a respectful and positive culture as Fresh City embarks on its next phase of growth.

“We realize we really need to double down on investing in our people,” says Ran Goel, CEO and founder of the Toronto-based urban farm and omnichannel retailer, which has eight locations under three banners: Fresh City, Mabel's Bakery and The Healthy Butcher, as well as an e-commerce offering. “That’s especially important as a vertically integrated company because we have a combination of retail staff and skilled staff such as butchers, bakers and chefs, as well as all the back office functions like software development, marketing and accounting.”

Goel adds that as the company has grown to about 300 people from 50 just three years ago, there is an increased need for a high-performing culture. “We realize we need to be conscious and intentional about how we support our people, how we recruit them and how we onboard them, and we felt Kathy was the perfect candidate to help with that.”

Emilia Cancelli was named chief retail officer at Fresh City, taking over from Ryan Rudnickas, who is stepping down. She is the former general manager – retail and supply chain at Eataly in Toronto.

“On the retail front, we’re looking for somebody who has got a combination of what I call being able to be down in the trees and weeds in the morning and being able to float above the jungle in the afternoon—meaning someone who can zoom in and out,” says Goel. “[Emilia] has a great capability of doing that, so everything from seeing a jar of soup that has not been faced properly and helping staff understand how important merchandising is, to helping us in thinking about where our next store is going to be and how it should look... Given her [past experience], I think she shares a deep understanding of our core customer and what it takes to succeed to cater to them in retail.”

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