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Tops Recognizes Produce Manager For ’40 Under 40′ Award

Justin Rowe

Williamsville, New York-based Tops Friendly Markets has recognized Justin Rowe, category business manager for Tops, as one of Produce Business 40 Under 40 award honorees.

This program spotlights rising entrepreneurs and leaders who have shaped the produce industry in a very short time and are paving the way for what comes next. 

Produce Business states that “this year’s winners illustrate the strength and depth of the industry’s talent – and each one has demonstrated leadership growth and keen insight into building our industry. Individual candidates were contacted to discuss their key company, industry, community and personal accomplishments, sharing meaningful examples of their roles, as well as goals and aspirations.”

When asked what advice would you give someone new to the produce industry, Rowe said, “Remember we are just selling bananas and berries. Yes, it is stressful, and there will be moments when you think things can’t get any worse. However, keep things in perspective and maintain a positive attitude. Don’t get caught up in the daily wins and losses, as long as you and your company are moving in the right direction in the big picture, you will be just fine.”

Rowe has been a part of the industry since 1999, when he began his career at Tops as a cashier. What started out as a part-time job after school quickly became a passion and grew into a full-time career in 2004. During that period, he worked in almost every department within the store. In 2008, he accepted a position in operations management. 

He was selected as a transition coordinator for various acquisitions Tops made over the years. He spent time in the Adirondack region when the company acquired several Grand Union locations and in the Hudson Valley when it acquired some Stop and Shop locations. In that role, he led a team responsible for the onboarding, training and development of all transitioning associates.

In 2018, he joined the Tops produce team as the category business manager of fruit and dry goods.

For more information, visit topsmarkets.com.

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