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Scott Schuette saying good-bye to Fresh Thyme Market

By
Keith Loria

Scott Schuette, vice president of produce and floral for Fresh Thyme Market, is set to leave the company in the next week after a six-year stint of his 30-year career in the business.

“The decision was made last Monday, but this was a combination of a restructuring and reorganization decision on the part of the company and it coincided with some changes that were about due for myself,” he said. “I’m working on a two-week exit plan right now, and this will be my last week as they hand off the torch and I get them set up for success to the best of my ability.”

As of now, Schuette isn’t sure of his next steps, saying he has no plans and hasn’t even been looking yet.

“My primary focus has been taking care of family,” he said. “I have some extended family with some health issues that I need to become part of, and they live back in Arizona, so it makes best sense that I give them some TLC during these tough times.”

Schuette originally came aboard Fresh Thyme Market as the director of produce and floral back in 2014 and rose to his current position two years later, around the time when the company became self-distributed through its own 300,000-square-foot distribution center in Bolingbrook, IL.

He’s proud of what was accomplished and sees the opportunity to create the farmer’s market concept in the Midwest with Fresh Thyme Market was extremely intriguing.

“This was something I had always wanted to do,” Schuette said. “I had been in the industry for a long time—a little bit of wholesale and a whole lot of retail background, and I always wanted to be part of establishing a retail grocery company from the ground up and being able to put a fingerprint in the retail industry.”

He had a lot of fun along the way in helping to get about 80 stores open in a five-year span of time.

Prior to his work at Fresh Thyme Market, Schuette spent approximately 25 years with Bashas’ Family of Stores in different positions and capacities. He also worked at Sunflower Farmers Market and its successor, Sprouts Farmers Market.

“I really loved the concept of the healthy eating, healthy living farmer’s market style of the Sprouts concept, so when the opportunity came up with Fresh Thyme, it made sense for me to be part of that group,” he said.

Schuette said he’s going to miss the people at Fresh Thyme the most and the relationships he’s made along the way.

Although he’s not certain of what his next ideal job would be, Schuette noted he hopes to stay in the business and keep his pulse on the finger of the industry.

“In my heart, it has to be something that directly gives back to the industry,” he said. “It probably has something to do with spending the last six years just non-stop opening store after store after store. I did lose track of my commitment to giving back so I feel an obligation to find something moving forward—whether in retail, wholesale or something completely different in the produce industry—that allows me the opportunity to give back to the industry that has supported me for 36 years now.”

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