Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2017 - 65
"It's all about people and if you don't
like people, then this isn't the place for
you," he continues. "It sounds so simple,
but you have to smile and want to engage authentically with people. It helps
to drive home the cause of what we're
doing here. We're trying to bring health
and awareness into our customers' lives."
In addition, Sherrell maintains that
Fresh Thyme has some of the best employees in the country.
"We're working endless hours training them to get them up to speed on
what we expect from them," he says.
"We hold culture at a very high level.
We want to work hard, set and meet
expectations, but we also want to have
fun doing it. This is the lifestyle at Fresh
Thyme and we want people to embrace
it. That doesn't mean everyone has to,
but they at least need to learn about and
"We find that we attract a great
group of leaders and team members because they are excited by the company's
growth and want to be a part of something special," Sherrell says. "They have
left other retailers who were on the decline and are grateful to be building a
thriving new company."
Additionally, Fresh Thyme's growth
also translates to rapid career advancement for its team members and leadership. While other companies struggle
with employee retention, Fresh Thyme
scoops these people up and places them
on their professional career path, according to Sherrell.
"The biggest challenge for Fresh
Thyme has been training," he says. "It is
a major focus for our company in 2017."
This year, Fresh Thyme is rolling out
comprehensive training and development programs to keep up with the
needs of the thousands of new team
members it hires every year.
"From Bagging 101 to financial
classes for management, there is a desire to educate existing Fresh Thyme
employees to build a sustainable bench
for the continued planned growth,"
"Our message is that we want people
to live longer, healthier and live a more
active lifestyle with the food they put in
their bodies," he continues. "It starts at
the top as well. I shop 99 percent of the
time at Fresh Thyme. My family eats
natural and organic. I've been in the
business for 22 years. It's very important to believe in what you are selling.
Just like the old saying goes, 'It's easier
to tell a story when it is the truth and
you believe in it.' So if you believe in
what you're saying it's going to come
across very genuine. If you try to make
it up, it's not always that genuine."
In addition, Sherrell notes that he is
most proud of his employees.
"We have done something no one
has ever done before. We have opened
53 grocery stores, soon to be 70, in fewer than three-and-a-half years in 10
states," he says. "We have some amazing,
passionate folks on board. I have to give
credit to my employees because they are
outstanding, have an amazing mindset
and are relentless about making this
work. It's all a pretty big milestone, but
when you look at how we have achieved
that, our team is certainly the key." O
Hanson Faso Sales &
Hanson Faso Sales & MarkeƟng has
proudly partnered with Fresh Thyme in
bringing our leading brands of Natural and
Specialty foods to market in both the
Center Store and Perimeter Departments.
Fresh Thyme is at the cuƫng edge of
shopper experience in terms of item
selecƟon, presentaƟon and store layout.
We look forward to their conƟnued
success in the marketplace.