Locally Owned, Organically Grown

Job Opening–General Manager

General Manager
Posted: July 2, 2013
Organization: Natural Harvest Food Cooperative
Organization location: Virginia, MN


Natural Harvest Food Cooperative is located on the south shore of Bailey’s Lake in Virginia, Minnesota in the midst of the scenic north woods. The region has a strong educational system, a rich ethnic heritage, and abundant outdoor recreational opportunities.

Natural Harvest was founded in 1979 and now has over 1,800 member-owners.  Our commitment to customer service attracts patrons from a wide area in northeast Minnesota and has lead to steady growth. We are poised for expansion. We are an integral part of various community activities.

The successful General Manager candidate will be responsible for store operations and development of the organization. The General Manager reports to the Board of Directors, which is elected by the member-owners of the cooperative. The Board operates under Policy Governance, a system that emphasizes vision, empowerment and accountability.

Questions can be directed to Janna Goerdt, Chair of the Board of Directors, fatchickenfarm@gmail.com.

The employment application may be found at our website or the store office.

Interested candidates should e-mail resume and application to fatchickenfarm@gmail.com by August 21, 2013.

General Manager Position Summary
Natural Harvest Food Cooperative

Job Purpose

To lead our cooperative so that it achieves the ends policies determined by our board of directors, as follows: 1. Creating a greater sense of community for people in our area.

2. Helping community members be better informed about cooperative principles and      personal and environmental health.

3. Giving greater access to healthy products.

4. Encouraging a vibrant local food economy.

Overview of responsibilities

The job of the general manager is to ensure achievement of organizational results as defined in ends policies and to avoid unacceptable conditions as defined in executive limitations policies. The general manager has the authority to use any reasonable interpretation of these policies.

The general manager is empowered to make all decisions, create all policies, and authorize all engagements that he or she can demonstrate to be consistent with a reasonable interpretation of board policy as provided for in board/general manager relations policies.

The general manager’s performance will be evaluated through systematic and rigorous monitoring of expectations established in policies that address asset protection, financial conditions, business planning and financial budgeting, staff treatment and compensation, treatment of consumers, membership equity and benefits, communication and support to the board, board logistical support, and emergency management succession. A full set of the board’s policies is available upon request.

Operational responsibilities include areas of planning, finance, store operations, marketing and member services, human resources, and other tasks that may be assigned by the board.

Reporting relationships

The general manager reports to the board of directors that is elected by members of the cooperative. The board operates under Policy Governance, a system that emphasizes vision and values empowerment and accountability. The board uses policy to define the results the general manager is expected to achieve within defined limits of prudence and ethics. The general manager has the authority to hire, direct, structure and evaluate all other staff.


  • Experience managing a retail food store, or equivalent managerial experience and an interest and desire to learn about organic food sales
  • Bottom-line accountability for a business with minimum annual sales volume of $2 million
  • Demonstrated personal and professional values that align with cooperatives principles
  • Strategic planning experience with an eye towards expansion and growth
  • Ability to handle multiple demands and maintain a friendly, open retail environment
  • Willingness to ensure that Natural Harvest Food Co-op continues to be integral part of community events and activities
  • Has an understanding of the components of financial statements
  • Operating, capital and cash budgeting experience
  • Ability to present written and spoken information clearly
  • Proven ability in team building
  • Ensure development of store policies that are cost-effective and equitable
  • Ability to work with staff to develop and project the co-op’s public image
  • Some understanding of local food systems and trends in natural food industry, or willingness to learn
  • Experience communicating with and reporting to a board of directors