Executive Chef, River Valley Co-op

River Valley Co-op
River Valley Co-op is a full-service, community-owned food cooperative, specializing in fresh, local, and organically grown groceries, prepared foods, wine and beer, wellness, and bulk items. Everyone is welcome to shop, co-op ownership is not required.

RVC Our Mission: River Valley Co-op staff members are all empowered ambassadors for our cooperative’s greater mission of creating a just marketplace that nourishes the community.  As an organization, we are committed to social justice and developing our anti-racism skills through our diversity, equity, and inclusion program.  As a team, we work to leverage grocery retail’s economic impact for positive social change in the food system, our environment, and our community.  Our friendly store operations build community and grow our local economy by providing fresh, local, and seasonal products accessible to everyone in our community.  Cooperative values and the larger cooperative movement inspire us, and our community-owned business values sustainability in products and practices.  We work hard and have fun doing it, we act with honesty, kindness, and respect, and we strive to get better every day.



Full-time. Requires open availability, including evenings and weekends.


Status: Reports to Director of Operations

Supervises Easthampton Prepared Foods Leadership with a close working relationship with Northampton Prepared Foods Management.


Pay Level: IX, exempt.


Location: Easthampton, MA, with support to Northampton, MA.


Purpose: The current prepared foods program includes a bakery, coffee/juice bar, made-to-order sandwiches and pizzas, roasted chickens, production kitchen packaged for grab-and-go, catering trays, independent sushi company, as well as onsite dining and take-out.  The Prepared Foods department also supports onsite and offsite special events.  We envision future program and service developments.


The Executive Chef will be responsible for creating dynamic menus and flavorful recipes for a River Valley Co-op’s overall Prepared Foods programs.  Our product lines are inspired by fresh and local ingredients, world cuisine, and our natural foods products and vendors, to meet a diversity of community food, health, and cultural needs.  This includes plant-based, gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, and multicultural holidays.  Responsible for developing new product lines, establishing and sustaining relationships with consumers and vendors, and providing steady leadership to our prepared food staff.  The Executive Chef will ensure adequate operational systems for all aspects of the production in all locations including quality, safety, efficiency, merchandising, and service standards.  The Executive Chef will help to initiate and maintain a culture of engagement and creativity through training and positive influence.  Additionally, the Executive Chef will provide a high level of service to River Valley Co-op’s internal and external customers and will be responsible for building and maintaining a friendly and welcoming atmosphere within our Co-op locations. 


Essential Duties & Responsibilities



  • Plan creative and enticing menus and recipes for product lines following brand standards, highlighting local products and celebrating seasonal harvests, representing world cuisines, featuring our natural foods products and vendors, and meeting community dietary, health, and cultural needs.  The overall product focus is fresh, local, natural, and organic, scratch-made foods featuring world flavors for all Co-op locations. 
  • Develop and manage department promotions for all locations.
  • Develop effective pricing strategies to meet margin goals and ensure accurate costing systems are maintained of all dishes prepared and sold at all Co-op locations.
  • Establish and ensure adherence to effective procedures and techniques for food preparation that provide a well-presented selection, consistently high quality, and effective processes for efficient labor in operations to meet goals and standards.
  • Establish and maintain systems for portion control, pricing, and shrink control to meet margin, price point, and brand goals.
  • Provide necessary data for budget preparation; project annual food, labor, and other costs, and monitor and adjust as necessary to ensure financial goals are met. 
  • Discuss daily sales reports and goals, key financial results, and goals with key Prepared Food Department team members.
  • Establish weekly and monthly schedules to meet forecast and budget.
  • Schedule, train, and coordinate with all prepared food staff to meet operational needs. 
  • Teach preparation according to well-defined recipes with follow-up and openness to discussions of ways to improve product offerings. 
  • Partner with the Director of Operations and Director of Marketing for coordination of special events. 
  • Create and communicate department Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) to enhance consistent procedures. 
  • Ability to produce a high volume of work promptly, which is accurate, complete, and of high quality.
  • Provide exceptional customer service, creating a Co-op Prepared Foods Department experience customers and owners rave about.
  • Lead department huddles promote internal communication channels, and actively participates in management meetings.



  • Hire qualified applicants following the established procedure.
  • Ability to lead and interact positively with all staff members and customers to promote a cohesive team dynamic and professional approach. 
  • Develop and maintain a comprehensive training manual for all Prepared Food department staff.
  • Facilitate all direct-report new staff member training: 
    • Culture and behavioral expectations. 
    • Policies and procedures. 
    • On-the-job training.
  • Oversee and assess probationary period for all new direct report staff. 
  • Complete for direct report staff and submit to applicable business partners benchmark reporting: evaluations, discipline, etc.
  • Review payroll for direct reports.
  • Ensure that the Assistant Managers are completing the same for their direct reports: training, discipline, evaluations, and payroll.
  • Must be able to provide direction for all day-to-day operations in the production kitchen, production bakery, made-to-order service kitchen, coffee bar as well as managing relationships with sushi vendors.
  • Utilize interpersonal and communication skills to lead and influence the Prepared Food department staff.
  • Deliver exceptional, flexible, and compassionate service by communicating and assisting staff to understand customer needs, providing guidance, feedback, and individual coaching when needed.
  • Display exceptional leadership by providing a positive work environment, counseling employees as appropriate, and demonstrating a dedicated and professional approach to management.
  • Understand employee positions well enough to perform duties in employees’ absence or determine appropriate replacement to fill gaps.
  • Ensure all prepared food staff members are trained to maintain required food handling and sanitation standards and all required staff are up-to-date with required certifications.



  • Maintain quality levels of receiving, storage, production, and presentation of food.
  • Ensure that a high standard of sanitation, cleanliness, and safety are maintained throughout all the kitchen, deli, and bakery at all times. 
  • Safeguard all food preparation staff by implementing training to increase their knowledge about safety, sanitation, and accident prevention principles. 
  • Establish and maintain a regular cleaning and maintenance schedule for all kitchen areas and equipment. 
  • Ensure proper purchasing, receiving, and food storage standards in the kitchen.



  • Develop new innovative programs, including co-op signature products, to drive sales growth and customer satisfaction.
  • Set standards for displays and signage, including allergen and ingredient listing.
  • Visit competitors for price comparisons, and ideas for displays and products.
  • Keep up-to-date with food trends, including products that meet specific diets like vegan, gluten-free.



  • Abide by all Co-op policies and procedures as outlined in the Employee Handbook and other co-op documents.
  • Keep the office orderly and clean.
  • Maintain a positive attitude.
  • Regular predictable attendance. 
  • Perform all other duties as assigned by the Director of Operations





  • Previous management experience.
  • Ability to cook delicious food, including comfort, world cuisine, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free.
  • Four (4) years related experience and/or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience. 
  • Ability to understand and use calculations needed to set pricing to achieve margin goals, manage payroll, project sales, and manage department expenses.
  • Outstanding customer service skills.
  • Attention to detail and good organizational skills.
  • Flexible – willingness to be open, to learn, and take on new responsibilities.
  • Demonstrate objectivity, neutrality, and calm.
  • Demonstrate accuracy and thoroughness.
  • Ability to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of variables in situations where only limited standardization exists.
  • Ability to read, analyze, and interpret general business periodicals, professional journals, technical procedures, or governmental regulations. 
  • Ability to write reports, business correspondence, and procedure manuals. 
  • Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from groups of managers, committees, suppliers, customers, and staff. 
  • Ability to read and comprehend instructions.
  • Ability to work as a collaborative team player.
  • Ability to work with customers and co-workers from various cultural backgrounds.
  • Ability to follow through on systems, procedures, and policies.
  • Ability to work efficiently and safely in a fast-paced environment. 
  • Ability to be flexible and to adapt to changing conditions quickly.
  • Ability to manage time with consistent weekly deadlines for reporting and other time-sensitive assignments. 
  • Ability to use computers and applicable software and programs, including recipe costing software, Microsoft, and Google Suites.



  • Standing, walking, kneeling, bending, sitting, reaching.
  • Ability to stand for extended periods.
  • Ability to use hands or fingers to handle or feel.
  • Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision and distance vision.
  • Repetitive use of hands for grasping, pushing, pulling, and fine manipulation.
  • Ability to use office equipment; computer, Point of Sale, scanner, fax, copier.
  • Ability to lift to 50 lbs.
  • Ability to commute between Co-op locations.


Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functional job duties. 



  • Natural and local foods (retail, wholesale).
  • The ability to speak Spanish, French, or Swahili is a plus.


River Valley Co-op is an equal opportunity employer encouraging excellence through diversity.