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Meat/Seafood/Specialty Category Manager 

Category Management  

TITLE: Category Manager (Meat/Seafood/Specialty) DEPARTMENT: Brand & Store Development

STATUS: Full-Time, Exempt, Salaried REPORTS TO: Purchasing and Category Manager

JOB SUMMARY: To ensure the highest level of service possible to Outpost's internal and external customers. Manages the sourcing, selection, and quality of programming for assigned categories within Outpost's store departments, with emphasis on local and regional products, establishing the right product, price, placement, and promotion. Facilitates strong vendor relationships, negotiating fair pricing with equitable returns to both parties.

WORK ENVIRONMENT: Business office environment with moderate noise including but not limited to computers, printers, paging, telephones, and human voices. Fast paced retail floor and kitchen environments. Occasional work near moving mechanical parts (i.e. blender, food processor, etc.). Occasional job-related travel within the Midwest Region.


1. Customer Service

  1. Treat people fairly, consistently, and with respect.
  2. Ensure efficient, informative, and friendly service according to established customer service vision and standards.

2. Primary Responsibilities

Product Procurement

  1. Establish a sourcing strategy for optimum product mix with the Purchasing and Category Manager.
  2. Identify and procure direct sources of quality meat and seafood, meeting any specific needs for each of Outpost's store locations.
  3. Establish contracts with local, regional, and National product vendors, negotiating fair pricing, order/delivery standards, and regular and predictable supply of products.
  4. Research new products and vendors to meet the needs of our shoppers.
  5. Follow the guidelines and restrictions established by the co-op under the Product Policy.
  6. Ensure a robust mix of value-added programming in the department, using internal recipe development and/or national programming available through the co-op's association.
  7. Negotiate product introduction and pricing for regular price and promotional price.

Category Management

  1. Monitor trends in the natural/specialty foods industry and in our local market.
  2. Conduct periodic price and product mix surveys of competitors.
  3. Forecast, plan, and ensure volume order placement and best quality options for regular and seasonal supply.
  4. Conduct product assortment review and analysis and establish core sets.
  5. Work with merchandisers for effective category resets and right product placement.
  6. Ensure regular and ongoing development of product mix especially within the value-added programming.
  7. Establish programming requirements for stores in assigned product categories.
  8. Establish department pricing based on multiple points of feedback related to; cut tests & yield, trends, competitor, NCG, and industry comparison information.
  9. Ensure robust programming and product placement in Outpost's Co-op Basics program.
  10. Use established technology to analyze assortment and overall contribution to meet Outpost's sales and net margin goals.
  11. Monitor store department losses and make recommendations for improvements.
  12. Attend trade shows, conferences and/or other industry events.
  13. Management and/or support of additional product categories as needed.

Planning & Promotions

  1. Establish pricing for promotions in weekly sales flyer, special events and/or co-op wide promotions.
  2. Contribute detailed information on vendors when requested.
  3. Participate in store promotions and events as needed.
  4. Develop and support meat special order programming.
  5. Assist Purchasing & Category Manager in the development of annual goals for assigned categories.

3. Team Participation

  1. Coordinate and/or attend team meetings as a timely and active participant.
  2. Review meeting agenda and prepare any materials needed for discussion related specifically to your primary responsibilities, in advance of weekly meetings.
  3. Participate on purchasing project teams as assigned.
  4. Conduct periodic meetings with store department management teams.

4. All Staff Duties

  1. Abide by all Co-op policies and procedures as outlined in the Employee Handbook and other company documents.
  2. Keep store/office orderly and clean.
  3. Maintain a positive attitude.
  4. Perform all other duties as assigned.

Position Requirements


  • Outstanding customer service skills
  • Minimum 3 years of experience working in a food service or food retail environment
  • Working knowledge of meat and seafood products and familiarity with cooking/preparation techniques
  • Purchasing and/or category management experience preferred
  • Supervisory, delegation, or equivalent experience with duties or project planning, coordination, and implementation preferred
  • Intermediate level proficiency with Microsoft Outlook, Word and PowerPoint
  • Intermediate level proficiency with Microsoft Excel including utilization of algebraic formulas
  • Strong passion for food
  • Demonstrated mathematical aptitude including a high level of proficiency with multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, percentages, averages and ratios
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills in English
  • Ability to taste meat and seafood products without restriction or reservation
  • Good problem-solving skills and the ability to come up with ideas and/or creative solutions
  • Ability to read and comprehend instructions
  • Attention to detail and strong organizational skills
  • Ability to handle multiple demands, work under time pressures, and meet deadlines
  • Ability to work independently
  • Ability to follow through on systems and procedures
  • Regular, predictable attendance
  • Evidence of ability to work cross-functionally with colleagues in merchandising, brand/social media, operations, finance, store level management, and other areas
  • Excellent communicator and relationship builder
  • Ability to adapt to the shifting priorities and needs of a retail environment
  • Demonstrated ability to negotiate successfully in marketing/buying situations
  • Ability and willingness to travel by plane, car, and other means of transportation as required
  • Meets and adheres to Company driving and licensing requirements for equipment and vehicles. Must be able to use personal vehicle to travel to vendors and locations.
  • Must be willing to submit to a background investigation, including verification of past employment, criminal history, credit report, motor vehicle report, and educational background.


  • Standing, walking, bending, sitting, reaching
  • Using hands or fingers to handle or feel
  • Specific vision ability: close vision, distance vision, depth perception, and adjust focus
  • Use of sharp cutting instruments
  • Ability to climb up and down ladders
  • Ability to lift up to 40 lbs.
  • Ability to taste and smell


The job duties, elements, responsibilities, skills, functions, experience, educational factors, requirements and conditions listed in this job description are representative only and not exhaustive of the tasks that the employee may be required to perform. The employer reserves the right to revise this job description at any time and require employees to perform other tasks as circumstances or conditions of its business, competitive considerations, and/or a work environment change.

Full-Time/Part-Time Full-Time  
Shift Days  
Exempt/Non-Exempt Exempt  
Req Number MAN-19-00004  
Open Date 2/8/2019  
Location Central Offices  
About the Organization Outpost Natural Foods exists so that our owners have a healthy, diverse, and sustainable community. We are a locally owned cooperative business that strives to provide the highest quality food and products to our customers. Outpost Natural Foods was founded in a store front in Milwaukee in 1970, to provide high quality organic and natural foods to the community. We have now grown to 4 retail stores, a Market Cafe, an organic and natural production kitchen/bakery, and other wholesale outlets.

We are seeking reliable and responsible employees who want to grow with our business. We offer a generous benefits package including: Health, Dental, Vision, STD, Life Insurance, Profit Sharing, Pension (Full-time), 401K, Vacation, Personal Days, Paid Holidays, Employee Discount, & More! We also offer ongoing training and development, internal promotional opportunities, a mentoring program, health and wellness initiatives, and volunteerism in the community.  

This position is currently not accepting applications.

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