Welcoming Our New General Manager Andre Chavez!
The Los Alamos Cooperative Market (LACM) Board of Directors (BOD) has been searching for a General Manager (GM) who has the personality, experience, and passion to lead our beloved store. We believe we have found a perfect fit and would like to warmly welcome Andre Chavez to our community.
Throughout our search for a new GM, Operations Manager Sarah Chiri and the staff have kept our doors open through many challenges. We sincerely appreciate how Sarah has put her heart and soul into keeping the store running and look forward to all that is possible with the addition of Andre to this team.
He comes highly recommended by people who have worked with him and know him as someone who considers new ideas, is a great listener, a clear communicator, and has a deep understanding of the ins and outs of running a successful business.
Andre grew up in the grocery business and is passionate about community and natural and organic foods. He was born and raised in a small town in central New Mexico. His father was a butcher by trade and opened up their first grocery store when Andre was 10 years old. They eventually had a total of 3 small stores which they sold after 26 years.
In 2004, Andre started his career in the natural / organic world, starting at Henry’s Farmers Market in Phoenix, Arizona. He went on to work for Wild Oats, Sprouts Farmers Market, and Sunflower Farmers Market (where he ran the #1 store in the company’s 45 store chain). In 2012, he was recruited by New Leaf Community Markets as Operations Director in the San Francisco Bay area. Ten years later, they still talk about the positive impact that he had there. In 2015, he moved to Chicago as Director of Operations for Fresh Thyme Market. There he opened 8 stores in a 1 year time frame, and was responsible for 16 stores in 3 states.
In 2016, Andre took a break from the grocery business and spent some time in Colombia, South America, where he did some consulting work for small independent stores, exported limes, and also volunteered his time to teach English to 5 and 6 year old kids who would not otherwise have access to this opportunity. In 2021, he returned to grocery working at Rouse’s Markets in Schriever, Louisiana.
With this breadth of experience in different places, he longed for New Mexico and wanted to be geographically closer to his family. He heard about our search and contacted Los Alamos Cooperative Market because he was tired of working with corporate America and wanted to get back to managing a small local store, reminiscent of the family business. He was also drawn toward our focus on community, sustainability, and supporting local vendors and farmers.
We look forward to all that Andre will bring to our community, our team, and our store. His focus on happy staff, high standards, accountability, delicious food, and a desire to see our Co+op robustly thrive are just what we were looking for in a new GM. We invite the community and the LACM staff to welcome Andre with open hearts and to support him as he takes our store into its next exciting chapter.
See the Los Alamos Daily Post’s Article about Andre https://ladailypost.com/los-alamos-coop-hires-new-gm-andre-chavez/