Rutland Area Food Co-Op hires new General Manager

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RUTLAND — The Rutland Area Food Co-op has hired a new General Manager.

T.J. Allen was selected by the Board of Directors to succeed Zachariah Stevens, who announced his resignation in April after 3 profitable years.

T.J. Allen was born in England, but grew up in the Upper Valley of Vermont.

After working for Whole Foods for a number of years Allen and his family moved back to Vermont from Boston last fall.

“I’m very excited to become a part of such a great team in the vibrant Rutland community,” Allen said after accepting the position.

Allen is a passionate advocate for both access to healthy food and for supporting our local farmers.

He says he is committed to supporting and empowering all staff in a healthy and joyful workplace.

The General Manager search involved a special committee of both board members and staff members.

“In our search, we were looking for a visionary,” Hannah Abrams, Board President for the Co-op said of the process. “We know our co-op needs someone who will lead our diverse and passionate staff, as well as connect with our community of diverse and passionate Owners.”

“Growing up in Vermont, I fell in love with all this wonderful state has to offer, from the wide range of locally produced items to the close knit communities to the shared pride in building success,” Allen said. “I’m looking forward to all the growth and success we will have as a team, a Co-op, and as a community.”

Allen will be coming into the Co-op after the previous General Manager, Zachariah Stevens, and staff were able to work cooperatively to achieve 3 profitable years in a row, averaging over $2 million in sales each year.

Owned by over 2000 members, the Rutland Co-op recently adopted a Patronage Refund System that will help grow the business further, giving patronage dividends to its Owners in profitable years, while also allowing more money to go back into the store for improvements.