Cheese Department Specialist
This is a provisional position intended to develop the necessary skills needed in order to be promoted into the role of Cheese Buyer. This position will have an extended trial period of 4 months, with the option for a 2-month extension, in order to gain buying, receiving, merchandising, and production skills necessary for a cheese buyer.
- Follow the Core Values as defined by EEFC's Core Value statement.
- Provide exemplary customer service to both customers and staff.
- Professional appearance and behavior.
- Accurately communicate what the Co-op is and the process for becoming a member.
- Familiarity with store layout, products, and services.
- Familiarity and understanding of emergency procedures.
- Stay up to date with current storewide and departmental communications, policies, notices, and logs.
- Abide by Co-op policies as delineated in the Employee Handbook.
- Willingness and ability to learn to meet the changing needs and requirements of the job.
Departmental – Purchasing
- Learn to place orders by appropriate deadlines.
- Optimize stock levels to minimize out-of-stocks while maintaining strong inventory turns.
- Oversee customer special order procedure.
- Learn to pursue discounts, establish favorable terms, and negotiate promotions through established relationships with vendors.
- Learn to plan, communicate, and execute regular sales and promotions.
- Maintain up-to-date records of vendor contact, order, and delivery information. Ensure current supplier affidavit information.
- Learn to evaluate vendors and investigate new sources of supply.
- Learn to maintain dynamic product mix by utilizing proper Category Management processes. Choose products meeting the criteria established in the East End Food Co-op's Buying Guidelines.
- Work to meet and exceed established sales, margin, and inventory goals.
Departmental – Receiving
- Learn to ensure accuracies of orders, deliveries and invoicing and take action to correct discrepancies.
- Learn to ensure integrity of product, checking for short or expired dates, damages or poor quality.
- Learn to receive and sign for product deliveries.
- Ensure timely and appropriate stocking or storage of delivery.
- Date, code, log, and send invoices to Finance Department for timely payment. Maintain good communication regarding credit or invoice issues.
- Obtain credit from vendors where applicable.
Departmental – Food Preparation and Production
- Ensure that food quality, quantity, freshness, and presentation meet all Café standards.
- Ensure that displays are attractive, fully stocked, maintained, and accurately rotated throughout shift.
- Ensure that soon to be expired items are properly marked down in price in accordance with procedures.
- Learn to ensure that expired or low-quality items are pulled and that shrink logs are regularly maintained.
- Learn to manage and organize effective inventory levels to ensure adequate amounts are on hand to meet business needs while taking steps to minimize waste and loss.
- Learn to ensure that production is done using correct cutting tools and devices and that all cheese is cut into accurate sizes, shapes, and quantities.
- Learn to ensure that items are properly packaged, weighed, priced and labeled and that all major allergens and ingredient information are accurately identified on labels and signage.
- Accurately and consistently fill out all checklists, production lists, logs, and records to ensure good processes.
- Work with Supervisors to create, maintain, and update procedures manuals for all cheese operations.
- Learn to maintain accurate up-to-date records for cost of preparing cheese products.
- Research, develop, and maintain cheese recipes, while maintaining confidentiality.
- Advise Café Manager or Supervisors of any supply needs.
- Provide product information to customers, staff, and marketing for newsletter and website.
- Ensure that samples are available for customers.
- Plan and execute regular education, cooking, and tasting events under the direction of Supervisor.
- Provide staff training for all functions associated with cheese activities and production.
- Participate in essential departmental meetings and special events as directed by manager.
- Assist with other food production and preparation tasks as directed by Supervisors.
Departmental - Merchandising
- Learn to build effective displays according to movement, promotions, cross-merchandising opportunities, profitability, and value, while maintaining alignment with store merchandising guidelines.
- Learn to maintain accurate and up-to-date POS data for all products.
- Educate coworkers and customers on new, local, and specialty products and provide product information to Marketing & Member Services for marketing and promotional communication.
- Attend Buyer’s meetings to plan promotions, cross-merchandising, and advertising as directed by supervisor.
- Attend offsite training or special events as assigned.
- Visit other stores for price comparisons, new product ideas, and merchandising ideas.
- Stay current with developments in the cheese and natural foods industries through reading trade publications and speaking with brokers.
Departmental – Maintenance, Sanitation, and Safety
- Follow and comply with established procedures, including Weights and Measures, Health and Sanitation, and safe work practices.
- Maintain valid Allegheny Health Department Food Handler’s Certification.Follow storage and labeling procedures at all times per EEFC and health department standards.
- Maintain work and sales area in a clean, organized, and safe manner throughout the entire shift.
- Follow storage and labeling procedures at all times per EEFC and health department standards.
- Ensure accurate completion of daily, weekly and periodic cleaning tasks.
- Empty trash, recycling, and compost as needed throughout shift.
- Operate and maintain all equipment in a safe and appropriate manner. Advise Supervisors of equipment repair and replacement needs.
- Monitor cooler and freezer temperatures. Advise Supervisors of equipment problems immediately.
- Participate in inventory counts as directed by Supervisor.
- Assist with other maintenance tasks as directed by Supervisors.
Required Skills and Qualifications:
- 6 months to 1+ years of experience in a retail cheese shop, cheese department, or cheese industry.
- 1+ years of experience purchasing retail foods.
- Passion for and exceptional knowledge of specialty cheeses, dairy products, charcuterie, as well as natural and organic specialty products.
- Excellent understanding of cheese cutting tools, proper cutting techniques, quality cheese production and paring knowledge.
- Friendly, outgoing personality, positive attitude and enthusiasm for interacting with people and giving great service.
- Ability to work harmoniously on a diverse team within a dynamic prepared foods department.
- Demonstrated ability to work independently as well as within a team.
- Ability to maintain excellent verbal and written communications.
- Strong work ethic and ability to work in a fast-paced environment with a sense of urgency.
- Ability to handle multiple demands and stay calm.
- Ability to be organized and methodical in action while maintaining accuracy and attention to detail.
- Excellent logistical problem solving skills.
- Excellent negation and conflict resolution skills.
- Ability to be punctual and maintain excellent attendance for regularly scheduled shift work.
- Ability to work a flexible schedule including nights, weekends and holidays as needed.
- Moderate proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, email, organizational programs, and internet research.
- Familiarity with ordering and POS systems.
- Strong basic math skills.
- Ability to understand and comply with organizational guidelines, standards and goals.
- Extensive knowledge of and ability to demonstrate safe food handling.
- Ability to handle, touch and taste all different kinds of food, including all dairy products and charcuterie.
- Ability to be exposed to FDA approved cleaning and sanitizing products.
- Ability to perform routine, repetitive tasks accurately and safely while using tools and equipment, such as knives, box cutters, cheese wires, processors, and other kitchen equipment.
- Ability to work in an environment which includes exposure to noisy, wet, humid, cold, and hot conditions.
- General mobility requirements include the ability to: stand or walk for several hours at a time; lift up to 50 lbs. on a regular basis and 75 lbs. with assistance using safe lifting techniques; push and pull carts weighing up to 100 pounds; twist, turn, squat, and bend frequently; reach above and below shoulders; do repetitive motions; hand and wrist mobility including the ability to repetitively grasp objects; visually read fine print; visually read a computer screen for long periods of time; climb a ladder.
Desired Skills and Qualifications:
- 1+ years of experience in a retail cheese shop, cheese department, or cheese industry.
- 2+ years of experience purchasing retail foods.
- Experience purchasing natural and organic specialty foods.
- Advanced knowledge of organic, natural foods, and non-GMO products.
- Advanced proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, Access and internet research skills.