The Root of What Matters™
With Troy Fors, Piggy Wiggly – Plymouth, WI
More than 600 independently owned Piggly Wiggly stores operate in 17 states, primarily in smaller cities and towns, like Plymouth, Wisconsin. ZYN is proud to be sold at the Piggly Wiggly in Plymouth, and always happy to see Troy Fors, the store’s produce department manager.
In this edition of “Root of What Matters,” we talked to Fors about his role, grocery stores, trends and – of course – his hometown, Plymouth. Enjoy.
ZYN: Give us, please, the 3-4 minute “Troy Fors” story and talk about your career in the food industry.
Troy Fors: I’m from Sheboygan and have worked in retail for 31 years for various companies. During those 31 years I have worked for two different Grocery store companies, owned a Brownberry Bread distribution business and was a sales rep for Lipari Foods. I returned to store retail in 2017 as a Produce Department Manager at Piggly Wiggly in Plymouth Wisconsin.
I have always tried to bring in different products and items that make my department stand out from competitors.
Many of those different items I carry today are items I became familiar with when I worked for Lipari Foods. I was able to see customer trends at different competing businesses and bring those trends to my current position in Plymouth with good success. My time with Brownberry and Lipari have made me a better, more forward thinking department manager who is able to see the trends happening now.
I first became interested in food retail when I lived in Germany as a foreign exchange student while at Lutheran High in Sheboygan. Seeing the different types of foods in other countries all over Europe was a great experience for me.
I learned how to build effective displays in the produce department from the first produce manager I worked for as far back as 1990. The importance of proper size, location and added cross-merchandising of the display lends success to the sales of that product. If you have a new product and don’t display it correctly, in the right spot so your customers see it, can try it and learn about it, the success of that product may not happen.
How long have you been at Piggly Wiggly, and what do you love about your store?
I have worked at Piggly Wiggly for about three years, returning in 2017 after having left to work for Lipari.
I love working for Bob Fox at Piggly Wiggly because he gives his department managers the freedom to run their department with little interference. I am able to bring in new items such as ZYN, among many other items not carried by our competitors giving customers a reason to choose Plymouth Piggly Wiggly first. Plymouth is also a great community to work in with a wide range of people and interests.
I have a strong support cast in Bob Fox as well as the store director and the store assistant manager in how I run my department and the product I provide.
What are the three main trends you’re seeing in the grocery business today?
Growing trends I see in the grocery business today consists of organic and all natural products, grab and go items, and locally grown products.
Specifically, in the fruit section, what’s the biggest regular selling item and how have people’s shopping habits for fruit and vegetables changed over the past few years?
Shopping habits in my department have moved aggressively toward grab and go items. I provide a clear tote bag for my customers with items ranging from apples, oranges, and pears to baker potatoes, onions, green beans, brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes. I’m finding this makes the shopping experience easier and quicker for the customer.
Have you tried ZYN? What do you like about it?
I have added ZYN to my existing line of Pomegranate juice, probiotic drinks, aloe and coconut water and cherry juice. ZYN is a great tasting product that is low in both sugar and calories, but high in health benefits. I have sampled all flavors to my customers and drink 2 bottles a week myself.
Tell us a bit about Plymouth, Wisconsin? What’s your favorite part of the town and why do you choose to call Wisconsin home?
Plymouth is a small and quiet town which is close to attractions such as Plymouth Rock, Elkhart and Crystal Lakes, and of course the Road America racing track. Plymouth is also close to major golf courses in Kohler and another north of Sheboygan that have hosted professional tournaments and The Blue Harbor Resort in Sheboygan. Plymouth is the Cheese Capital of Wisconsin.
People Magazine question now … what’s your favorite TV show and why?
I don’t watch a lot of TV and therefore don’t have a favorite, but I do keep up on such shows as “NCIS,” “Supernatural,” “The Walking Dead,” and reruns of “Last Man Standing.”
Finally, define success.
I define success in two simple statements, “If you love what you do and get paid to do it, success.” Also, “a happy customer is a returning customer.”