Nathaniel Foster joins the New York Apple Association as account and event manager. He brings 20 years of experience in the grocery industry in retail purchasing and store operations, customer service and sales and account management.
Foster has more than 15 years of experience managing grocery and produce departments and store operations for several independent natural food grocers, with extensive experience in product sourcing and inventory purchasing and replenishment. His most recent role was satellite store manager for GreenStar Co-op in Ithaca, NY, where he oversaw the grand opening of its Collegetown store location and guided the new store through a successful first year in business. In this role, he worked closely with New York farmers and shippers to bring locally grown fruits and vegetables to the Collegetown store and to promote New York farms to the university community. Prior to that, Foster served as territory sales manager for the wholesale distributor UNFI, managing a sales territory with more than 50 independent retail accounts in the western & central NY and northern PA region.
Foster comes from a family with roots in horticulture and farming and is an avid gardener himself. He graduated from Southern Connecticut State University with a Bachelor’s degree in English. He lives with his wife Karilyn and their two children in Clifton Springs.
“We are excited to have Nathaniel join us as we continue to bring consumer awareness about New York State apple varieties and implement merchandising and marketing programs that assist retailers and the foodservice industry with what they need to sell more New York State apples,” said Cynthia Haskins, president and CEO of the New York Apple Association.
Foster will manage retail and foodservice accounts along with Cailin Kowalewski and Susan Sarlund. NYAA has been adding to its portfolio of marketing assets and look forward to rolling those out this fall. NYAA’s high-graphic tri-wall orchard bins, display merchandisers, poly and paper totes, pouches and poly bags will continue to be available through NYS apple shippers or through NYAA.
“I have always enjoyed working with apple growers in New York State and look forward to developing relationships with our retail and foodservice partners so we can expand the sales of New York apples through increased shelf space, ample displays and marketing support resources,” said Foster.
In addition to adding to its marketing portfolio, NYAA filmed two new commercials late last fall and those commercials will be launched through traditional television and cable in addition to streaming.
“Apple blossoms are in full bloom right now and are gorgeous. NYAA had a great production and sales year and we look forward to a fruitful harvest,” said Haskins.
Blossoms occur first in Hudson Valley and then up to the Western and Upper Central sections of New York State and throughout the Northeastern region.