Organic Avenue Names Martin BatesCEO Former Pret A Manger Executive Brings Extensive Retail, Real Estate Experience Organic Avenue Strives for Leadership Position in Both $5 Billion Organic Juicing Industry and $75 Billion Natural Foods Industry Business Wire NEW YORK -- April 24, 2013 Organic Avenue, a leading provider of organic cold pressed juices, vegan food, cleansing programs, healthy lifestyle education and community building events announced today that it has named Martin Bates CEO. Bates joins from London-based Pret A Manger, where he successfully transformed its U.S. operation and scaled the business from a handful of stores in New York City into a major presence with more than 50 stores in the healthy grab-and-go market with additional locations in Boston, Chicago and Washington D.C. With more than 20 years of experience, Bates will lead the management team at Organic Avenue and will set the strategic direction of the company, including future retail expansion and third-party distribution plans. He will begin his role as CEO in late June. This news follows Weld North’s announcement in January that it had acquired a control position in Organic Avenue. Weld North is an investment company founded by former Kaplan, Inc. CEO Jonathan Grayer in partnership with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR). As consumers become more health-conscious, many are seeking to add organic foods and juices to their daily routines. The organic lifestyle market is growing rapidly, with 70 percent of Americans buying organic foods and one quarter of these consumers buying organic foods on a weekly basis. Juicing, either as a meal replacement or an addition to a healthy diet, has become a $5 billion business and the natural foods industry has grown to $75 billion. “We are extremely pleased that Martin will be joining Organic Avenue,” said Jonathan Grayer, chairman and CEO, Weld North. “He comes at a time when there is tremendous momentum at the company and consumer demand for healthy foods and juices is skyrocketing. Martin has a wealth of knowledge from his tenure at Pret A Manger’s U.S. operation and he brings a deep understanding of consumer preferences on buying healthy foods and navigating the retail experience around these purchases. He also brings a key service orientation and a unique insight into the real estate market in major cities across the US – valuable assets as we look to quadruple our footprint in 2013. Martin is a proven entrepreneur and a brand builder. Organic Avenue is at a critical moment in its evolution we are looking forward to doing great things together.” “I am tremendously excited about this opportunity. The health food and beverage space is exploding and I share Jonathan’s vision for Organic Avenue and what it can become,” said Martin Bates. “One of the things I enjoyed most about my experience at Pret was the opportunity to scale a smaller, emerging brand into a well-respected option for healthy foods for consumers across a significant footprint. The opportunity at Organic Avenue is exactly what I was looking for and I look forward to growing the business into a national leader in a very dynamic market place. In order to achieve this goal, we’ll look at refreshing the stores and the retail experience, identifying new locations for market entry and moving forward with a defined strategy for third party distribution.” “We’re excited that Martin has agreed to join Organic Avenue as chief executive officer,” said Denise Mari, founder, Organic Avenue. “He has a great track record of building businesses and is the right person to lead Organic Avenue to the next level. Martin knows what it will take to deliver our promise of the highest quality Live Organic Vegan Experience to our rapidly growing customer base. We look forward to collaborating together.” In his most recent role at Pret A Manger, Bates was tasked with expanding its U.S. stores, bringing the healthy grab-and-go concept from 11 stores in New York City to 51 stores across Boston, Chicago, New York City and Washington D.C. Prior to his role as president, Bates was the UK operations director at the company, where he was responsible for 75 Pret stores nationally in the UK from Scotland to South Coast, and including Pret's UK airport operations. Before joining Pret A Manger, Bates was the national operations director at Greene King plc where he was responsible for 400 pubs, bars, restaurants and hotels. Bates began his career in manufacturing, holding various positions with Denby Pottery, Toyota Motor Manufacturing and Microfine Minerals. Bates holds a MBA from Loughborough University and also attended the University Of Derby and Glasgow Caledonian University. About Organic Avenue Based in New York City, Organic Avenue is the leading provider of organic cold pressed juices, vegan food, cleansing programs, healthy lifestyle education and community building events. The company helps customers incorporate flexible health habits into their daily routine in order to maintain a healthy, energetic lifestyle that is pleasurable, sustainable and friendly to the environment. Visit http://www.organicavenue.com. About Weld North Weld North is an investment company concentrating on education, health and wellness, consumer services and marketing businesses. In partnership with KKR, a leading global investment firm, Weld North seeks to make control investments in businesses with high potential for long-term growth in cash flow. With strong and highly motivated management teams, the firm looks to accelerate growth through an obsessive focus on enhancing the customer experience, operational excellence, marketing expertise, and strategic and disciplined management. Contact: Media: Sloane & Company Elliot Sloane, 212-446-1860 firstname.lastname@example.org
Organic Avenue Names Martin Bates CEO
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