Co-op’s Cathy Moloney Earns National Honor

Long-time WRJ store manager cited by 'Progressive Grocer' Magazine

CHICAGO -- Progressive Grocer announced its Top Women in Grocery for 2020. Among that list of “61 extraordinary women…who join the ranks of the Top Women in Grocery,” is Cathy Moloney of Hartford, Vermont. According to the magazine, “These women strengthen the retail food industry at many levels, within both the retailer and supplier communities.”

Progressive Grocer is a 98-year old trade publication that covers the gamut of retail grocery news. Its editors highlighted Moloney’s impact on her store’s profitability, community commitment, and environmental stewardship as reasons for including her among this year's honorees. 

Cathy Moloney has served as manager of the Hanover Co-op’s White River Junction store at 209 Maple Street since the Co-op opened there in 2010. She also served as store manager of the P&C food store at that location for many years.

For colleagues of Cathy, the Progressive Grocer recognition comes as no surprise. “We have always seen her as a rock star,” said Paul Guidone, interim general manager of the cooperative. “Cathy could lead a Masters-level course on running a triple-bottom-line grocery store…she has the management skills, community commitment, and treats everyone with the utmost respect.”

By extension, Cathy’s management role is seen as distinct from many of her peers in the grocery industry. As a store manager within one of the largest and most successful food cooperatives in the United States, Cathy often wears two hats: a business hat, similar to her corporate grocery peers, and a community-service hat, similar to the director of a nonprofit.

Common descriptions of Cathy are as a mentor to her employees, a respected colleague of her peers, and as a friend to her customers. She also stands out for her business skills. In 2019, Cathy Moloney's store achieved 6.68 percent sales growth, the highest among the Hanover Co-op’s four stores. She also exceeded her margin goals, and had a net-savings-before-taxes that surpassed projections.

Moloney spearheaded and/or supported dozens of community-service programs, including: Coffee with a Cop, the Little Free Library, SNAP/Double Up Food Bucks, Green-Up Day, the Alzheimer’s Walk, Hunger Knows No Season, and UV Gear -- a gear swap that provided warm layers to the area homeless. She and her team also collected thousands of pounds of non-perishable food for the area food bank, donated 21,115 pounds of high-quality breads and produce to the needy through the Willing Hands program, and encouraged contributions of more than $31,000 for area nonprofits through the cooperative’s charitable-giving program, Pennies for Change.

In 2019, the stores of the Hanover Co-op began phase-out of single-use plastic bags at the registers...a huge effort that put enormous pressure on cashiers, in particular. Cathy was a leader in this initiative, training employees, engaging customers, and focusing on education around sustainability and single-use plastics.

Progressive Grocer nailed it by honoring Cathy,” said Paul Guidone. “She continues to have a profound impact on our Co-op and her community.”

Progressive Grocer's core audience targets top management at headquarters and key decision makers at store-level; from chain supermarkets to regional and local independent grocers, supercenters, wholesaler distributors, manufacturers and other supply-chain trading partners.

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About Hanover Co-op Food Stores

The Hanover Co-op Food Stores—also known as the Hanover Consumer Cooperative Society—is owned by more than 24,000 members. The Co-op seeks to build a well-nourished community cultivated through cooperation. From its founding in 1936 by 17 Dartmouth College professors and their spouses, the Hanover Co-op is now one of the oldest and largest of its kind in the United States. In recent years, this business has served more than 5,000 customers a day. For more than 85 years, this cooperative has stood by its founding commitment to buying locally produced food and goods. From locations in New Hampshire and Vermont, this consumer-owned business generates sales of $85 million annually from three grocery stores, a community market, and two auto service centers.