New Seasons eyes continued growth with Collie as CEO

New Seasons will continue its recent trend of adding one to two stores per year under new CEO Wendy Collie.

New Seasons will continue its recent trend of adding one to two stores per year under new CEO Wendy Collie.

In her management roles at Starbucks, Wendy Collie was in charge of delivering excellent and consistent customer service while the coffee chain was multiplying its storefronts across the country and around the world.

But Stan Amy, one of New Seasons Markets four founders and chairman of the company's board of directors, says there will be no Starbucks-like growth in the cards for the Portland-based grocery chain when Collie takes over next month as CEO.

"We don't have any intention of following the Starbucks model," Amy said. "We'll continue on the path of sustainable growth, which means adding one to two stores per year."

What Collie brings to New Seasons, Amy said, is her experience building teams and executing on a business based on values and strong company culture.

"She's worked in organizations at a larger scale," Amy said. "She has exposure to that experience and understands what's special about us."

New Seasons, which has grown to a dozen stores in recent years, has long emphasized its commitment to the regional food economy, specializing in carrying local products and locally sourced produce and meats.

"I deeply respect how new seasons has grown," said Wendy Collie, who says she's been a regular customer at the New Seasons Raleigh Hills store since moving her family to Portland from Seattle three years ago. "My work will be on how do I continue that momentum."

Collie said she is a "retail operator at heart" with a passion for good customer service and fast-paced environment. "It's not only familiar to me, it's very inspiring," she said.

Collie will spend her first weeks in the job working in stores and, as Amy put it, "learning the business from the ground up." She has no grocery experience, which doesn't concern Amy.

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