Mercato, the online grocery e-commerce platform for independently owned grocery and specialty food stores, has hired three new executive team members. Jeffrey Bishop-Hill has been named VP of operations, Mike Durand has been named VP of sales, and Leo Zhu has been named VP of product.
“We’re incredibly excited to welcome these talented leaders to the Mercato team. Each of these individuals has a proven track record in their field and deep, well-honed skill sets that will be a terrific help as we continue on a path of aggressive growth and expansion of our marketplace,” said Bobby Brannigan, founder and CEO of San Diego, California-based Mercato.
Bishop-Hill, 36, will focus on operations and positively impacting the merchant and customer experience. He will continue to advance Mercato’s tech infrastructure to streamline costs and facilitate continued growth. Bishop-Hill joins Mercato from Soothe where he acted as SVP of operations and helped the wellness marketplace expand its service area from 12 U.S. cities to more than 70 cities in six countries. Prior to Soothe, Bishop-Hill held operations, marketing and customer experience roles at a number of early stage companies including RadPad, DogVacay and InMotion Hosting. Bishop-Hill secured his bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California, and he currently resides in San Diego.
Durand, 34, will lead a selection of established teams within Mercato that are focused on mid-market sales, customer success and account management. Prior to Mercato, he was regional VP of sales at Toast Inc., the computer software company servicing the restaurant industry. Durand also spent more than eight years at Groupon where he filled a number of sales leadership roles, including director of enterprise sales in the company’s Chicago headquarters. He is known for his ability to scale highly efficient sales organizations. Durand earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska Omaha, and he currently resides in Omaha.
Zhu, 30, will head up the product organization at Mercato. He will manage the overall product strategy, roadmap and execution. Zhu joins Mercato from Walmart.com where he was director of product. He also acted as director of product at Jet.com, which was acquired by Walmart for $3.3 billion. An early employee at Jet.com, Zhu helped scale the e-commerce startup from pre-launch to post-acquisition. Most recently, Zhu founded and built Lewis, an online travel planning service that combines data with expert human judgment to provide personalized weekend trips. Zhu is a resident of Los Angeles, and he attended Northwestern University where he secured a bachelor’s degree in mathematical methods in the social sciences.
Mercato was started in Brooklyn, New York, in 2015 and the company currently operates in 45 states nationwide. The digital platform connects consumers to more than 1,000 independently owned grocery stores and specialty markets. Built upon a mission of supporting such stores, Mercato has been actively onboarding grocers during the COVID-19 crisis. The company, which equips independent grocers with a clean and seamless online ordering and delivery function, has added over 400 specialty food stores, grocery stores and market halls to its platform in 2020.