Choice Market is forever changing the way that people shop. Offering a revolutionary new model, Choice is a convenience store that strives to make great food accessible to all by combining fast and friendly service, high quality fresh foods from local vendors, grocery necessities, and delivery on demand.
Choice’s first store opened in downtown Denver in 2017, and they are expanding rapidly with two new locations coming in 2019. Through a combination of revolutionary technology and a mission to support the local community and shorten the food supply chain, Choice offers their customers something that no one else does: convenience, efficiency, and access to locally-sourced, excellent food.
Owner and Founder, Mike Fogarty, was inspired by the small grocery stores that he encountered during the time he spent living and studying in Europe.
“I would frequent these small markets that were on almost every corner. They were thoughtfully curated, and full of great local products. When I came back to the States, I felt this format was missing in our growing cities and really started to rethink what a convenience store can and should be.”
Originally hailing from the East Coast, Mike has been in Denver since 2007. His extensive background in natural foods and procurement has allowed him to create a truly local supply chain at Choice, by supporting as many local vendors as possible, including start-ups who are looking for their first opportunity to get shelf space.
“These great companies creating innovative and sustainable food are a critical piece of the Choice puzzle, and they are inherent to our values and what we are doing.”
Companies like River Bear Meats, Patterbar, and Basis are favorites amongst Choice shoppers and staff. More established and beloved brands like Rosenberg’s, Tender Belly and Corvus can also be found at the market.
A full service, fully-scratch kitchen truly sets Choice apart. Choice’s classically trained and experienced chefs work to develop seasonal menus and offer elevated food “on the go,” that’s both healthful and delicious.
At Choice, there’s nothing more important than the communities that they serve. Through their extensive work and partnerships with local charities like the Denver Housing Authority and Youth Employment Academy, they support their customers and give back. Mike and his team believe that their customers should dictate the store’s offerings. It’s their pleasure to meet the needs of the neighborhoods they serve and to introduce customers to innovative options that are fast, healthy and delicious.
Mike Fogarty, Founder and CEO
Mike Fogarty is the Founder and CEO of Choice Market located in downtown Denver. Choice, which opened in October 2017, is an omnichannel convenience store which combines the operating hours, transaction times, and store size of the traditional c-store with the product selection of a natural grocery and fast casual restaurant.
Prior to Choice, Mike served as Senior Category Manager at Danone, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of natural and organic products, where he oversaw a $200M portfolio of plastic packaging contracts. He and his team were responsible for the sourcing, contracting, cost reduction and supplier performance activities for all plastic packaging in North America. Prior to Danone, Mike worked within the supply chain function at several other Fortune 500 companies including Johns Manville, Newmont Mining and Charter Communications.
Mike received his undergraduate degree from Penn State University in Supply Chain and Information Systems, and went on to obtain his MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.
John S. Varsames, Chief Operating Officer
Over the last 30 years, John has honed his skills as a leader in the natural foods and grocery industry by reinventing customer solutions that drive sales and financial improvement that create unique customer experiences. With years of expertise across merchandising, marketing, private brands, store operations, and supply chains, he brings a balanced and unique approach to the business that accelerates results.
John has worked with some of the founding companies in the industry (Wild Oats, Whole Foods, and Alfalfa’s Market) on multi-state expansion, creating award-winning fresh food innovation, and achieving double-digit comp store growth. His category management and product development skills have allowed him to create revolutionary solutions for private brands and push the envelope on food flavor and function. His dynamic and collaborative leadership style brings together teams and creates pride and ownership across functional areas.
Having a high level of industry experience – from team development, creativity, operations, profitability and merchandising – makes John a well-rounded leader. He have been fortunate throughout his career to have developed a leadership style to drive outcomes and success in all functional areas of the business.
Aaron Petak, Chief Marketing Officer
Aaron Petak brings over 14 years of digital and offline marketing experience, and is responsible for the marketing operations of the Choice Market brand.
In his role as CMO, Aaron is also tasked with ensuring that Choice’s information and technology systems are fully integrated behind the scenes, while providing a seamless, omnichannel (denoting or relating to retail that integrates the different methods of shopping available to consumers) buying experience for customers both in-store and online.
Aaron leverages his background in performance advertising to help drive new customers and increased sales for Choice through online and local initiatives. Aaron believes that data is a key driver for Choice’s future growth and success, and he strives to compile and position Choice’s data to help the entire organization make informed and actionable decisions.