Little Silver, New Jersey – Sickles Market is pleased to announce that Andrew Roberts has joined the highly regarded family owned and operated business in Little Silver as general manager.
Roberts’ responsibilities include the day-to-day operations of the $18 million century old business.
Roberts has over 20 years of management experience in the specialty food retail and luxury hospitality business. His most recent position was as a regional manager with Whole Foods.
According to Roberts one of the biggest attractions for him to Sickles Market was the market’s independent family operation’s hands-on management style, unique setting, savvy customer base and its growth potential.
“I wanted to join an organization where I felt I could make a positive change,” said Roberts. “I needed a certain level of comfort with who I would be working with and I Bob Sickles was that person. I believe my management style will complement his bigger picture,” he said.
“When I started at Whole Foods it had 100 stores when I left it had 300,” he explained. “I wanted a place where I felt that what I did could make a difference; and I wanted to work with an organization that welcomed growth. That is my passion.”
Roberts who is native of New York and New Jersey said he welcomes challenges and areas of business that are new to him such as Sickles Market’s garden center.
“Yes, the garden center business is new to me,” he said. “But it is exciting to see the process from start to finish. I love to challenge myself and a new business gives me that opportunity. There is a synergy in a business that is literally seed to table.”
Sickles Market, a lifestyle market, plans on introducing several gardening classes in 2015 that will allow customers to follow the growing cycle development from planting to harvesting.
“People want to know where their food comes from,” said Roberts. “They always want transparency. Here we can provide that in our retail market.”
Roberts said that his passion for food began when he was very young from his family’s world travels. “Food is what brings people together on common ground,” said Roberts.
Roberts said among his biggest challenges are the existing restrictive space. A lack of retail space is a common challenge among small family owned businesses experiencing growth. It is quite different than a new business that starts with a projected floor plan that is designed with its growth potential in mind. A small business like Sickles Market needs to strategically provide a comfortable shopping experience for its customer base while growing within the confines of an existing footprint.
“Space is always an issue,” he said. “Newer businesses have the luxury of growing into their space, but a business like Sickles wants to branch out but doesn’t always have the room to grow. We have to be creative in our approach.”
One solution has been that Sickles Market has rented office space at a local business park in Shrewsbury to help ease its growing pains.
“Culture is another important element of a business,” he explained. “Having a well-defined culture will get you through the good times and bad times.”
Finding common ground among employees is critical to the grander vision of any company that aspires to continue into the future.
Roberts said that Sickles Market has continued to out perform its competition by optimizing its unique location. The business is located on Sickles family property that dates back to a 1665 King’s Land Grant. And instead of being located on a busy highway, it is set in a bucolic setting of mature trees, open fields and is tucked behind a recreation park and historic property.
The other area that Sickles Market continues to expand and hone is customer service. One such service is a lifestyle coordinator, whose responsibilities are to help a customer with entertaining solutions from napkins to menu.
Roberts said he believes in the Sickles brand and sees a lot of growth and regards it as an enterprise that is ever evolving through good times and bad.
“The measurement of success of a brand is if people will turn to you in good times and bad,” explained Roberts. He said that one of the areas that Sickles Market’s brand has remained consistent is through its support of local New Jersey farmers. Local is extremely important to Sickles Market’s brand and will continue to play a pivotal role,” he said.
Roberts can be reached by e mail at [email protected] .
Source: Sickles Market