Empower Fresh Company welcomes Robert Austin as Vice President of Sales

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Empower Fresh Company welcomes Robert Austin as Vice President of Sales


Empower Fresh® Company proudly announces the appointment of Robert Austin as the Vice President of Sales, leveraging his extensive life experiences to drive innovation and excellence in the produce industry. Empower Fresh, the trailblazing software solution revolutionizing the independent grocers' produce departments across North America, has found a strategic leader in Austin, whose background seamlessly aligns with the company's vision. Founded by esteemed produce industry consultant Anthony Totta, Empower Fresh aims to empower independent grocers with cutting-edge technology and insights.

Empower Fresh, a groundbreaking software platform launched in June, is spearheading a wave of transformation in the produce departments of independent grocers. Conceptualized by produce industry consultant Anthony Totta and developed by a team of industry experts, the platform ushers in a new era of efficiency and modernization for independent grocers. Austin's addition to the Empower Fresh team further solidifies the company's vision of empowering these grocers to flourish in a competitive market.

Austin's roots in the Greater Kansas City's retail produce sector run deep, mirroring the legacy of Totta's own family. Austin brings a wealth of experience encompassing produce retailing, wholesaling, brokerage, and information technology. His extensive familiarity with the industry and his technical expertise makes him an invaluable asset to Empower Fresh's clients.

Reflecting on the prevalent challenge faced by independent retail produce departments — where losses are often deemed an inevitable aspect of operations — Austin states, “When you add the losses up—monthly, quarterly, annually—it’s a substantial amount of money. The truth is, retail operations as a whole pretty much have said, ‘Look we know that we're going to suffer a certain number of losses because of how the industry operates’ and there's never been any significant sustainable control over that.” Austin's role at Empower Fresh is underpinned by a resolute message: “We can provide very deep control as well as focus.” Through the implementation of Empower Fresh's sophisticated management tool, retailers can significantly curtail produce waste, thereby equipping themselves to rival larger grocery chains armed with business intelligence and AI-driven produce management practices.

Drawing a compelling analogy, Austin remarks, just as the transition from gas-powered mowers to electric mowers marked progress, many independent retailers persist with outdated manual methods for ordering and advertising. “This is 2023 — you don’t buy gas mowers anymore! Let’s quit using them. The second our solution is adopted, the transformation is astonishingly evident. They say ‘Holy smoke! This is so much easier!’ so much so that the way they used to do it is rendered obsolete."

In addition to propelling efficiency, Empower Fresh empowers its customers, positioning them as the modern-day equivalent of the biblical David. These independent retailers, akin to David, are contending with corporate Goliaths equipped with abundant resources and contemporary management techniques. Austin asserts, “For David, our tool really just gives him superior ammunition to compete effectively. Our tool empowers us to track the same data like big box stores are doing. Each member on our team has been directly connected to independent retailer at one point or another and all of us would like to see the family-owned independent thrive. We're like the rope for these independents. We're all going to hold hands and you know what? If we connect, we can stand up to the big guys.”

As Empower Fresh continues its ascent in transforming the landscape of produce management, Rob Austin's induction as Vice President of Sales strengthens the Empower Fresh mission to reshape the independent grocer produce landscape. With his expertise and Empower Fresh's groundbreaking solutions, the industry is set to witness a revolution in how independent grocers thrive in today's dynamic market.

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