Hiring: Food Hub Institutional Sales Coordinator – Food Connects
Food Hub Institutional Sales Coordinator
Food Connects is seeking an Institutional Sales Coordinator to join the Food Hub Sales Team to support the growth of Food Connects Food Hub sales, primarily—but not exclusively—to various types of institutions. This person will employ their exemplary customer service skills, industry knowledge, and attention to detail to increase sales with current institutional customers and onboard new institutional customers. While institutions are the primary focus of this position, it will also provide general sales support for non-institutional customers as needed. This position reports to the Institutional Sales Associate and collaborates closely with the rest of the Sales Team.
Position Title: Food Hub Institutional Sales Coordinator
Supervisor: Food Hub Institutional Sales Associate
Employee Status: Full-Time, Non-Exempt, Hourly (40 hours per week)
We value diversity in all forms and strive to have our employment practices reflect that. We are an equal opportunity workplace and will not discriminate based on disability or other legally protected categories. If an employee has a disability that makes it difficult to perform their job duties, they are encouraged to notify us to engage in a discussion about reasonable accommodations.
About Food Connects
Food Connects is a dynamic and quickly growing nonprofit organization based in Brattleboro, VT that delivers regionally produced food and educational and consulting services aimed at transforming regional food systems. Founded in 2013, Food Connects (FC) is a catalyst for food systems change by connecting the next generation with their food, regional farmers with new markets, and school chefs with regional food.
The Food Connects Food Hub delivers source-identified, regional food from over 125 farms and value-added producers to over 280 wholesale customers in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Western Massachusetts. Currently, we have vehicles on the road for pickups and deliveries 5 days per week. The Food Hub (FH) is experiencing rapid growth and will expand operations, infrastructure, and delivery schedule over the coming year.
The Institutional Sales Coordinator will be responsible for supporting the growth of Food Connects Food Hub sales, primarily—but not exclusively—to various types of institutions. The ISC will heavily focus on sales to K-12 schools, and will also offer sales support to private schools, colleges and universities, and healthcare facilities. While institutional sales will be the primary focus of this position, it will provide general sales support for non-institutional customers as needed. This includes administrative support for the Food Hub Sales Team, ensuring a smooth and efficient order cycle flow within day-to-day operations.
The Institutional Sales Coordinator will serve as Food Connects’ primary daily contact with many stakeholders in FC’s community-oriented food distribution network. They will work closely with regional producers and buyers in a close-knit community of food system advocates. As such, this individual must have consistently exceptional organizational skills, record-keeping skills, and attention to detail while providing courteous, respectful service to various customers and food producers. This position will be supervised by the Institutional Sales Associate and will work closely with the Sales & Procurement Teams, the Marketing Team, and the Admin Team.
- Attention to Communication: The ability to ensure that information is passed on to others who should be kept informed.
- Task Management: Can prioritize tasks and work toward their completion through tracking details and progress and, when needed, toggling between different projects or assignments.
- Time Management: Can organize time for optimum efficacy with regard to deadlines, collaboration, competing priorities, and personal work style.
- Interpersonal Awareness: The ability to notice, interpret, and anticipate others’ concerns and feelings, and to communicate this awareness empathetically to others.
- Fostering Teamwork: As a team member, the ability and desire to work cooperatively with others on a team.
- Flexibility: Openness to different and new ways of doing things, willingness to modify one’s preferred way or doing things.
Primary Duties and Responsibilities
Customer Service and Sales Development
- Promotes the growth of Food Connects’ sales of local and regional food by enhancing existing relationships with customers and developing new relationships with potential customers.
- Supports outreach, onboarding, and sales retention of over 30 new school districts across VT, NH, and MA as a result of the Local Foods for Schools Cooperative Agreement
- Promotes Harvest of the Month programming across VT, NH, and MA by supporting sales of regionally grown produce by month and compiling print marketing materials to be distributed to all participating schools.
- Maintains a database of customer notes and developments in a clear, concise, and consistent fashion.
- Supports outreach and development of forward contracts for institutional customers (e.g. food service management companies running multiple educational food service accounts).
- Ensures the accurate and timely compilation of Food Hub orders on a twice-weekly basis for submission to our producers.
- Manages order updates within the Food Hubs online ordering/inventory system.
- Proactively identifies order issues such as out-of-stock items, and identifies and presents alternatives to customers.
- Tracks and manages customers’ standing orders and special orders.
- Manages staff orders & splits
- Coordinates with the FH operations Team regarding inventory management and product samples.
Institutional Market and Network Development
- Partners in creative spirit with FC producers/suppliers to develop products to meet requirements of key institutional segments.
- Liaises with partner organizations to strengthen the role of institutional involvement in local/regional foods, and to bolster Food Connects’ participation in that work.
- Works closely with the FC Farm to School Team to provide holistic support to local K-12 food service accounts.
Internal Project Support
- Provides the Sales/Procurement Teams with data analysis support.
- Helps create weekly order reminder emails tailored to institutions.
- Assists Communications Team in the development of regular marketing and promotional materials.
- Assists Development Team with grant design, drafting, maintenance, and reporting.
- Accurately tracks and communicates mileage, hours, and other relevant travel information.
- Attend regular one-on-one check-ins with supervisor to seek and provide proactive and constructive feedback for mutual improvement and the general betterment of the Food Hub.
- Engage in annual self-review.
- Participate in annual peer-review processes for employees as required.
- Fill in for other staff when needed.
- Occasional paid off-hours meetings and events (with plenty of advance notice).
- Other duties as needed to assist Food Connects in fulfilling its mission.
Working Conditions & Physical Demands
Food Connects will make reasonable accommodations to enable individuals to perform the essential functions of their work to the degree we can do so.
In general, this position is expected to work a 40 hour work week. The ideal candidate has availability during the hours below, but there may be flexibility for the right candidate.
- Monday: 7:30AM-3:30PM (customer order deadline day)
- Tues: 8:00-5:00PM
- Weds: 7:30AM-3:30PM (customer order deadline day)
- Thurs: 8:00-5:00PM
- Fri: 8:00-4:00PM
The position has flexibility in setting their communication expectations with customers, but as the sales rep for a varied set of customers, they may feel the need to field occasional evening/weekend calls.
- This position is based in the Food Connects Food Hub facility in Brattleboro, VT.
- This position will require in-office work up to 3 days/week, with remote work an option for the remaining days.
- Occasional paid off-hours responsibilities, meetings, and events (with plenty of advance notice).
- Some federal holidays (those that fall on Mondays), may require at least part-time work. Adequate advance notice will be provided.
Physical Demands – Required:
- This position entails extensive use of a desktop or laptop computer, sitting or standing at a desk workstation.
- 1 to 2 years’ experience in one or more of the following types of roles. Some professional experience in the food industry strongly preferred.
- General administration
- Project management
- Other applicable lived experience
- Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal: in person, over the phone, email, text.
- Excellent customer service skills.
- Strong organizational skills and natural proclivity for keeping detailed records.
- Enthusiastic ability to work in a dynamic, fast-paced environment.
- Comfortable with change and growth in an evolving business, creative problem solver and ability to jump in where needed to optimize operations.
- Cheerful, professional presence.
- Strong knowledge of veggies, fruits, dairy, meats, value-added products and other locally-produced foods.
- Strong technical skills with computers, spreadsheets, emails, and digital business management tools such as: G-suite, Excel, Slack, Asana, and customer relationship management (CRM) software.
- Ability to learn and incorporate new tools and technology into work plan.
- Reliable cell phone.
- Reliable transportation for getting to headquarters in Brattleboro, VT.
- Valid driver’s license.
- At least 3 professional references.
- Existing relationships with/knowledge of food producers in Southeastern VT, Southwestern NH, and Western MA.
- General knowledge of the sustainable food and agriculture sector.
- Strong data analysis / business intelligence skills.
- Experience in small business management and/or business development, especially in the food sector.
- Familiarity with the world of institutional food service, including at least some understanding of regulatory requirements (e.g. food safety, procurement, etc), vendor approval processes, forward contracting, and common food sourcing expectations within the institutional context.
- Familiarity with the geographical area of our delivery services (Windham County, VT; Windsor County, VT; Upper Valley, VT and NH; Cheshire County, NH; Western Massachusetts).
- Experience with E-commerce and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software for food sales and distribution.
- Knowledge of food safety regulations.
- ServSafe Certified.
- This is a full-time, Hourly, Non-exempt, 40 hour/week position.
- Beginning at $19.00 hourly. Negotiable depending on experience.
- The following benefits are offered after a 90-day introductory period:
- Paid time off: vacation, sick, personal, and holiday leave
- Short-term disability insurance
- Life insurance
- Access to vision and dental insurance
- 15% employee discount on food purchases.
- 2% employer retirement contribution, no employee contribution required.