KANSAS CITY, MO. — Empower Fresh, a cloud-based software company for produce departments, has brought on Jesse Himango as its new chief operating officer.
According to Empower Fresh, Himango’s industry experience involves 10 years as produce department manager at Cub Foods, other positions at SpartanNash and Gordy’s Markets, and six years as senior category manager for Fresh Thyme Markets.
“Jesse is a highly competent, passionate FreshXpert who adds more octane to the Empower Fresh solution,” said Anthony Totta, the company’s president and chief visionary officer. “His interests and strong background are perfect for our oncoming development at Empower Fresh. When he was a teenager, he not only worked various capacities within a grocery store, but as a hobby, he and his brother developed computer hardware and software. Those are the critical components of what we’re driving at Empower Fresh.”
Himango said he loves produce departments because they still center on “touch, feel and impulse.”
“The produce rack is still an art form,” Himango said. “Hands are critical to building beautiful displays, and product experience and creative perception are essential for product quality. Not everything has a shelf code.”
The Empower Fresh company was recently founded in January 2023, after the development of the software began in 2018.
According to the company, the software “delivers real time actionable intel that empowers fresh produce teams to make strategic business critical daily decisions impacting fresh produce department performance.”
Himango expressed surprise that this kind of technology was not introduced to fresh departments sooner, as he sees it as a necessary tool for produce directors and managers.
“There was never any software for fresh departments to track costs, margins, shrink, information on competitors’ pricing, and even tools for ad writing and forecasting available for fresh departments,” Himango said. “Fresh technology is really coming on in recent years. Retailers cannot afford to fall behind technologically. If you are behind the curve, it will cost your business financially. This has been needed for a long time.”