Online Grocer Farmstead Appoints Sara Custer as Head of Operations
Online grocer Farmstead has hired Sara Custer as head of Operations. Sara brings more than 25 years of logistics experience to her role, with previous senior operations positions at grocery delivery firms including Imperfect Foods, Blue Apron, Munchery, and GrubMarket.
Before joining Farmstead, Sara was VP of Operations at Imperfect Foods where she helped lead the opening of five new facilities nationwide increasing the company’s availability to more than 75% of the U.S., all while maintaining metrics and costs. Under Sara’s leadership, Imperfect Foods increased its headcount from 45 to 1100-plus and grew its SKU offering from 65 to 250-plus. Prior to this, Sara was SVP of Operations at GrubMarket, and also held Senior Operations roles at Munchery, LivBlends, Blue Apron and Whole Foods Market.
At Farmstead, Sara will be overseeing operations, expansion, customer happiness, and working closely with accounting, finance, and HR to manage Farmstead’s tremendous growth. Farmstead’s customer base has grown by double-digits, month over month, throughout 2020. After California’s widespread shelter-in-place order last spring, Farmstead’s order volume increased by 5x in just a few days, and its average basket size doubled. In response, Farmstead doubled down on its Bay Area presence, moving to a new warehouse 6x the size of its old one and doubling its staff.
In September, Farmstead launched Grocery OS, software that helps traditional grocers take delivery in-house, and go head-to-head against Amazon’s national expansion. A Top 3 U.S. grocer has already implemented Grocery OS, and Farmstead is in talks with many others, including several of the nation’s Top 10 grocers. Earlier this month Farmstead announced that it has opened the waitlist for its first expansion market: Charlotte NC.
“I joined Farmstead because it is such an important company in this uncertain time. We provide a much needed service that allows consumers to get all their groceries delivered right to their doorstep,” said Custer. “The trajectory for online grocery is rising sharply, and Farmstead’s platform is both exciting and ever-evolving; it is a one-of-a-kind company. The core team is a group of incredibly bright folks who push the boundaries every day and I am really excited to join them during such an important time in the company’s history.”
“Sara knows more about warehouse-led online grocery operations than anyone else we've ever met, over a storied career,” said Pradeep Elankumaran, co-founder and CEO of Farmstead. “As we scale up operations in many new markets, her people-focused, empathetic leadership will be key to helping our customers get a consistent, reliable experience that they absolutely love.”