Meet the
food team

IN 1987, COSTCO OPENED its first fresh meat, seafood, deli and bakery departments at the Tukwila, Washington, warehouse. It was a bold step, because until then, no other warehouse club had successfully sold fresh food. But the skeptics have been silenced, as today Fresh Foods is a major category copied by others in the industry. Its success is a measure of not just the quantities sold ( 150 million pounds of ground beef annually, 125 million muffins and 130 million pounds of bananas), but also the confidence of members and food professionals in the outstanding product quality. This recognition reflects well on the expertise and diligence of the Fresh Foods teams who source, buy and merchandise perishable products in warehouses from Hawaii to New England. Their mantra, as expressed by Tim Rose, senior

vice president, is: “We constantly look at
every item to see what we can do to make
it a better value for our member.”

Under Tim’s leadership Costco’s Foods and Fresh Foods departments have added numerous innovations in product development, buying and distribution. The key to these successes is the close working relationships with suppliers.

Costco’s meat department, under the direction of Charlie Winters, has become legendary for its consistent high quality and great prices. Professional meat cutters on-site closely trim off extra fat and gristle. No summer barbecue is complete without T-bones or rib-eyes from Costco.

The hard work of the meat department, including buyers Doug Holbrook and Chris Ostrander, has paid off. Costco is one of the largest buyers of USDA Choice beef in the United States. “The impact we have made on the industry and the volume

Tim Rose Senior vice president foods, general merchandise, Foods, Sundries, Fresh Foods

Charlie Winters Vice president/ director of meat operations

Sue McConnaha Vice president of bakery operations