Farm to School Sales Specialist

Contact Name

Position Title: Farm to School Sales Specialist

Supervisor: Business Development Manager

Job Type: Full-Time, Hourly Pay, Not Exempt from Overtime

Food Connects is an equal opportunity workplace that does not discriminate on the basis of disability or other legally protected categories. If an employee has a disability that makes it difficult to perform their job duties, they are encouraged to notify us to discuss reasonable accommodations.

About Food Connects

Food Connects is a nonprofit organization based in Brattleboro, VT. We distribute regional foods through our Food Hub, provide educational and consulting services to bring producers to market, and inspire kids to love local foods through our Farm to School Program.

We partner with producers and customers across Vermont, New Hampshire, and Western Massachusetts to transform the local food system. We’re growing quickly and are looking to expand our fun and quirky team.

Position Summary
The Farm to School Sales Specialist is responsible for growing our Food Hub sales, primarily—but not exclusively—to K-12 schools, as well as other institutions including childcare, colleges, universities and healthcare facilities. This position works with the Business Development Team to develop sales strategies and plans throughout the changing seasons.

Core Competencies

  • Customer Orientation
  • Attention to Communication
  • Interpersonal Awareness
  • Building Collaborative Relationship
  • Fostering Innovation
  • Thoroughness
  • Task Management

Job Responsibilities

  • Build Relationships with Customers
  • Helps coordinate the twice-weekly Sales Cycle.
  • Enhance existing customer and vendor relationships and develop new partnerships.
  • Develops contracts for institutional customers.
  • Provides prompt conflict resolution to customers and resolves order issues in conjunction with other Food Hub departments.
  • Coordinates with vendors and customers on new product promotions.
  • Assists the Marketing Team in developing regular marketing and promotional materials.
  • Collaborates with other Food Hub staff to respond to customer inquiries and inventory management.
  • Institutional Market and Network Development
  • Partners with producers/suppliers to develop products to meet requirements of key schools and institutions.
  • Works to strengthen the role of institutions’ involvement in local/regional foods.
  • Works closely with the Farm to School team to provide support to local K-12 food service accounts.
  • Internal Project Support
  • Provides the Business Development Team with data analysis support.
  • Assists Marketing Team in the development of sales-related marketing and promotional materials.
  • Assists Development Team with grant design, drafting, maintenance, and reporting.

Additional Responsibilities

  • Helps recruit, hire, and train new team members, as needed.
  • Maintains positive relationships and communications between vendors and customers.
  • Tracks and reports travel information such as mileage and lodging in a timely fashion.
  • Attend regular one-on-one check-ins with supervisor.
  • Engage in annual self-review.
  • Participate in annual peer-review processes for employees as required.
  • Fill in for other staff when needed.
  • Occasional paid off-hours meetings and events (with plenty of advance notice).
  • Other duties as needed to assist Food Connects in fulfilling its mission.

Working Conditions & Physical Demands

This position is expected to work a 40-hour week, with work hours falling between Monday-Friday, 7:00 am-5:00 pm. The Sales Team will stagger times to ensure full coverage during standard business hours. The schedule may look like:

  • Monday:7:30AM-3:30PM
  • Tues: 8:00AM-4:30PM
  • Weds: 8:00AM-4:00PM
  • Thurs: 8:00AM-4:30PM
  • Fri: 8:00AM-3:00PM

This position sets communication norms with their customers, and may feel the need to field occasional evening/weekend calls.

Work Conditions

This position is based at Food Connects’ Food Hub facility in Brattleboro, VT. This position offers a hybrid remote model, requiring in-office work at least 3 day/week, with remote work an option for the remaining days.

This position spends some of their time traveling to visit customer accounts. Overnight stays are rare.

Occasional paid off-hours responsibilities, meetings, and events (with plenty of advance notice). Monday federal holidays may require at least part-time work. Adequate advance notice will be provided.

Physical Demands

This position entails extensive use of a laptop computer, sitting or standing at a desk workstation.

Ability to drive continuously for a full workday.

Required Qualifications 

  • 1 to 2 years’ experience in the food industry, in one or more of the following types of roles:
    • Sales
    • Buying/purchasing
    • Customer service
    • General administration
    • Project management
    • Other applicable lived experience
  • Strong Technical skills with computers, spreadsheets, emails, and digital business management tools such as: G-suite, Excel, Slack, Asana, and customer relationship management (CRM) software.
  • Excellent communication skills in person, over phone, email and text.
  • Strong organizational skills and motivation to keep detailed records.
  • Creative problem solver and team player.
  • Knowledge of veggies, fruits, dairy, meats, value-added products and other locally-produced foods.
  • Reliable cell phone.
  • Valid driver’s license and reliable vehicle.
  • Food Connects offers a company-owned vehicle that can be used for some, but not all, road sales.  Mileage is paid out at a set rate for all work-related travel driven in personal vehicles.
  • 3 professional references.

Preferred Qualifications 

  • Familiarity with the world of institutional food service, including regulatory requirements, food safety, vendor approval processes, forward contracting, and common institutional food sourcing requirements.
  • Existing relationships with/knowledge of food producers and retailers in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Western MA.
  • General knowledge of food distribution, sustainable food and agriculture.
  • Strong data analysis / business intelligence skills.
  • Familiarity with the geographical area of our delivery services (Vermont, New Hampshire, and Western Massachusetts).
  • Experience with E-commerce and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.
  • Knowledge of food safety regulations.

This is a full-time position, non-exempt from overtime, expected 40 hours/week.

  • Hourly, beginning at $22.00 per hour. Negotiable depending on experience.
  • We offer the following benefits package:
  • Paid time off: vacation, sick, personal, and holiday leave
  • 15% employee discount on food purchases.
  • After 90-day introductory period:
    • Short-term disability insurance
    • Life insurance
    • Access to vision and dental insurance
    • 2% employer IRA contribution, no employee contribution required.