Local grocery store chain Andronico’s Community Markets (ACM), based in the East Bay with five stores throughout the Bay Area, has named one of the grocery industry’s leading innovators as CEO to head up the historic brand.

Suzy Monford, CEO and Founder of Food Sport International, is recognized for her ability to innovate across key global growth markets including grocery, lifestyle retailing and health/fitness. She has been recruited internationally by leading corporations in Australia, United Kingdom, Canada, and the U.S. She is a past recipient of InStore's Deli Operator of the Year award for her work leading innovations at H-E-B and H-E-B Central Market.

Monford most recently held the role of Head of Innovation for Woolworth’s, the largest retailer in Asia Pacific, where she was recruited to lead strategic change and international joint ventures. Previously she founded Food Sport International, working with Coles Supermarkets in Australia as her primary client. Other clients include Cheers Inc., a restaurant corporation in Texas, where she worked as CEO/president. A certified health coach, Monford has served on the executive board of directors for both the San Antonio Mayor’s Fitness Council and the YMCA, and actively teaches fitness and health in her community.

“At Andronico’s, one of our core merchant principles is to build healthy communities while we build our business. We believe that you can do well, by doing good. To that end, I’ll be introducing a new innovative approach to health and wellness that is a major departure from the role that the supermarket industry has traditionally played. Fitness—in all aspects from kitchen to shopping to cooking to dining—will be the way ACM delivers on its promise to advocate for community and our own corporate health. We’ll pioneer recipes for fit living for our shoppers and teammates."

Monford takes on the role at ACM as the company looks to continue its resurgence as an innovator in the San Francisco Bay Area specialty food retail. 

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to continue the Andronico’s legacy,” said Monford. “We were born in Berkeley in 1929, and today we remain an original American market whose success has been built on dedication to quality, uniqueness, service and neighborhood. We were “local” before it was a thing. We were focused on small producers before artisanal became a tag line to rationalize high retails.”

Monford’s plans include innovating store formats with eventual store expansion and embracing and utilizing the latest technology available in the grocery industry to drive value, convenience and to energize the shopping experience.

“We may be a small company, but we’ll be brilliant with data and digital,” Monford added. We’re going to marry traditional brick and mortar mercantile, with best of class tech in order to create a relevant shop for today.”

Monford plans to develop new products and concepts throughout the Andronico’s stores that will redefine value and serve each store’s diverse community. Chief among her priorities include an emphasis on speed and convenience, including bringing on new delivery App Instacart throughout the chain by mid-summer, and developing a new fitness and health-centric shopping portal for customers and teammates.

Andronico’s Community Markets, a privately owned grocery retailer offering a full range of specialty, organic and conventional groceries, began in Berkeley in 1929 and today has stores in Berkeley, San Francisco, San Anselmo and Los Altos. Many of the store’s union employees have been with the company more than twenty years, some more than forty years.  ACM recently launched an e-commerce food store specializing in local and specialty foods of the Bay Area. Shop online here: www.andronicos.com