Store Manager - LifeSource Natural Foods - Salem, OR
"We hired Mark to help take our produce department to the next level. We had a good, not great department and we were stuck trying to get to the place where we could proudly say our department was awesome! Mark brings a wonderful balance of infectious passion, amazing knowledge and the ability to be a mirror of honesty, that came from a place of support, rather than judgement.
The tools and changes we created in produce under Mark’s tutelage, have been adopted store wide and have led to some very positive changes to our culture and operations.
Mark leads by the ethic of teaching someone rather than doing it for them. We developed our systems for ourselves, yet he was with us every step of the way encouraging and testing our thought processes. The engagement and accountability he provided helped lead the whole team to the changes we needed to make.
I am ecstatic by the success we cultivated and I am proud of what we accomplished together. We now have an awesome produce department and the framework to ensure that continues into the future.
Mark’s breadth of knowledge and appreciation of the unique demands of our business meant we were able to utilize his skills storewide. We worked with him on leadership, driving sales, manager mentoring and many other capabilities he brought from his years in the industry and as a presenter/teacher with Rising Stars. The foundations we laid with our work has contributed to our continued success and given us better tools to meet the challenges in front of us."
Former Art Director Region Manager - INFRA Central-SE - Minneapolis, MN
"I’ve worked with Mark for many years in the natural and organic retail world. He has the ability to make learning fun. You will never be bored at a seminar and you will learn more than you thought possible in his trainings. He sets the standard high, just where you would want it when we are dealing with one of the most important departments in your stores. Live, laugh and learn! All things you do when Mark is in the room."
Owner - Jackson Whole Grocer - Jackson Whole, WY
"As a single store independent grocer focused on delivering high quality products and service, produce is a key department for us. We engaged Mark Mulcahy to help us elevate our produce offering. Mark did an amazing job through considerable development, both remotely and hands-on, of our Produce Department team and operations. He inspired and developed leadership, trained leadership and staff, developed operating procedures and assisted in the implementation, help redevelop our merchandising, etc. Mark contributed greatly in our taking a department with negative sales trends and turning it around to trending up more than 30%. Our customers are thrilled with the changes and our total store sales have benefited materially as well. Mark is a pleasure to work with and provides an unquestionable return on your investment with him. I highly recommend Mark to any organization looking to elevate their produce game.”
Regional Director of Sales, Northeast - Albert's Fresh Produce - Chesterfield, NH & Logan Township, NJ
Danielle F. Thurston
"I've spent most of my life working in the wholesale produce industry and for much of that time Mark Mulcahy has been a mentor. I remember attending my first EcoFarm conference and being in awe of Mark as he waxed poetic on produce and created inspired displays. His energy was contagious. I thought, “Someday, I want to work with him.”. Luckily careers blossomed, and we found that opportunity. Throughout the years, we’ve worked together on numerous occasions. New store openings, employee trainings, professional development courses… each of these experiences has been tremendous. As you grow personally and professionally you realize that some individuals are more invested than others. There are those that take the effort to create partnerships and base them on trust and communication; the unique few that take the time to be present. These individuals and partnerships are rare. And that’s Mark Mulcahy –exceptional. In my world, he is a guru, a mentor, a peer, and a friend. Mark is present and brings his passion and excitement to each conversation. He listens with a keen ear and articulates ideas clearly and thoughtfully. Mark is kind, intelligent, and passionate about the business. Furthermore, he KNOWS produce. If you have questions about creating vibrant produce displays, managing employee and vendor relationships, maintaining a profitable department, or just need a good dose of inspiration, Mark has a wealth of knowledge to share. 22 years later, to find myself writing a testimonial for Mark, is truly an honor. He’s helped me become the person I am today, and I wouldn’t change that for the world."
General Manager - Oneota Community Food Co-op - Decorah, IA
Award Winner of Progressive Grocer's 2020 Outstanding Independents, Single Store
"The last time we worked with Mark, we transformed our selling strategies, started a weekly deals program, and got all of our departments working together towards common goals. It worked and it was fun!"
Vermont Farm to Plate - Montpelier, VT
"Mark is a collaborator's collaborator! Building teams is what he does as a creative thinker, engaging speaker and a fun-loving, hard-working, teacher-trainer. He is all things Produce and thrives training future producer heroes. It has been a pleasure working with him on several successful and innovative projects over our 20 years of knowing each other."
General Manager - Awe Sum Organics - Santa Cruz, CA
"I count Mark Mulcahy as one of my true mentors in both work and life. His passion and energy inspire, while his sense of humor lightens the room just enough to maintain both engagement and focus in duality. A stunning feat! From the moment I read one of his articles in Natural Food Merchandiser, to later working with him in in a multitude of settings that continue on to the present day.....there is no one I've seen more committed to doing this work both heart forward and with true discipline and commitment. Mark's impact extends beyond produce departments (although that is unmatched) and into the evolution of the food trade itself."
Author & Educator - Understanding Flavor & Zafra Press, LLC - Princeton, NJ
"It is a joy to work with Mark Mulcahy and I am constantly inspired by his passion for produce and the farmers who grow it. Mark has a gift for creating produce displays and workshops that celebrate the astonishing variety of colors, shapes, and aromas that our nation's farmers harvest each day. He understands that if we want adults and kids to eat more fruits and vegetables, we have to motivate them with the visual beauty and superior flavor of fresh, well-grown produce and engage them with stories of produce history, ecological farming, and simple ways that home cooks can create flavorful dishes from local produce. Mark's work results in increased retail sales through engaged employees, informed consumers, and gorgeous produce displays."
Visual Merchandiser - Oryana Community Cooperative - Traverse, MI
“I find all of Mark’s talks very engaging and informative. They help me to feel impassioned about my work, and give new insights about the impact it can have.”
Farmer emeritus - Madera, CA
"There are skills and tools that can help any produce or CSA manager control costs and be successful purveyors of quality organic produce, but there is nothing like the experience of an Organic Options Produce Revival for turning your staff’s creativity into a more profitable produce department! Organic Options combines years of skill and experience to teach retailers of every size how to market organic produce successfully, passionately and sustainably. Organic Options is helping co-operatives, independent retailers in every sized community to add sustainable agriculture to their improved bottom lines! Our own CSA benefitted greatly from attending one of Mark’s workshops."
Farmer emeritus - Madera, CA
"When were you last served by a greengrocer, that once noble profession whose name has largely disappeared from our lexicon? Mark Mulcahy created the Bay Area’s first 100% organic produce departments some thirty years ago. Today fruit and vegetable evangelist Mulcahy roams from coast to coast, preaching passion for produce, its seasonality, taste, nutrition and immense variety."
Assistant Store Director & Merchandiser/Buyer
Jackson Whole Grocery - Jackson, WY
“I cannot thank Mark enough for what he has done for our store, and for me personally. He is truly a person who creates change in a wonderful way. We have an incredible produce department, and I am thanked by our customers on a daily basis for what we have accomplished in a market as fragile as Jackson, WY. We had improvements to make with many obstacles in our way, and he helped us take control and find the path to success. His merchandising is legendary, his skills are top tier, and his knowledge is world class. But what I value most about Mark is that he has been the most positive and consistent support system for our and my own continued growth. This is a man whom I call my friend now, and someone who I will look to for consultation, both in business and personally, for the rest of my life."
Produce Manager - Oneota Community Food Co-op
Award Winner of Progressive Grocer's 2020 Outstanding Independents, Single Store
"Thanks for everything you left us with Mark- a beautiful department, a jazzed staff, and happy customers. Thanks for supporting me and our department through all the stress. I seriously needed you there and you were there 1000%!
I love how it looks when we finally get the veg section "up", and then the people buy it all! We had a $19.000 week last week! 18% above last year, and 13% above budget."
Wild Oats Market - Williamstown, MA
"Mark arrived as our Interim General Manager and, despite the challenges of the pandemic, immediately made a tremendous impact, not only on the store’s financial performance and operating systems, but also by generating enthusiasm and commitment from the store’s team. Mark tackled many long-standing issues by engaging employees, the Board, and customers, involving them in developing real solutions. Several of these issues required months of careful planning and discussion to reach successful conclusions. When he departed after three months serving as Interim General Manager, Mark turned over to our new permanent General Manager a store that was profitable, better managed, and with difficult personnel issues resolved. Everyone was happier, and the new General Manager now faces a clearer path to success. Mark worked hard and was fun to work with. I would highly recommend Mark to any store looking for an Interim General Manager."
Royal River Natural Foods - Freeport, ME
“The fact that Mark helped us to turn around a struggling produce department can’t begin to measure how many other ways Mark has helped us grow not only financially but as a cohesive team. Additionally, he has helped me to grow as a leader. Mark is passionate, caring, motivating, inspiring, funny and helps to gently nudge you in the best direction. He is a great listener, problem solver and has so much knowledge to share. Working with Mark has been one of the best things I have done for my business and myself.”