Fresh Market taps former Winn-Dixie exec as CEO

The Fresh Market’s new CEO Larry Appel is a lawyer turned retail operations executive who wants to deliver an exceptional customer experience in each of his new employer’s 176 stores.

Larry Appel is best known in food retailing circles for the 10 years he spent at Winn-Dixie from 2002 to 2012 where he held a variety of roles, ultimately serving as Senior Vice President of Operations. Most recently, Appel served as President of Skeeter Snacks, a specialty food company founded in 2012 with a focus on nut-free products. Prior to his time at Winn-Dixie, Appel spent five years with Home Depot as Senior Vice President of Legal and six years with the law firm of King & Spalding.

Appel fills a position that had been vacant since June of this year when Rick Ancietti stepped down and the CEO spot was filled on an interim basis by CFO Brian Nicholson. Ancietti’s tenure at the retailer was short lived as he assumed the top job in September 2015, six months before the company was sold to Apollo Global Management for nearly $1.4 billion.

“Following an extensive search and review of both internal and external candidates, the Board believes that Larry (Appel) is the best leader for The Fresh Market going forward,” according to Jhawar. “We look forward to partnering with Larry and are confident in his ability to lead operationally and to execute strategies to win with our customers.”

Appel said he is committed to re-energizing all that sets The Fresh Market apart as a great brand and retail store.

“(The company’s) heritage and history provide a strong platform in continuing to define the company as a unique ‘specialty’ grocer, offering best-in-class products and customer service,” Appel said. “I plan to work with our teams to further elevate every aspect of our business – all with a sharp focus on delivering an exceptional customer experience every day in every store.”