Strategic Advisor and Board Member; Former VP of Grocery at Wholefoods
Errol Schweizer was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. After graduating from NYC public schools, he went to state university in Binghamton, where he studied Biology, volunteered as an EMT-D and worked in campus food services. His dissatisfaction with the local food options inspired him to start working at a student run natural foods coop. The little store, which sold soy milk, farmstead goat cheese and organic burritos, ended up changing his life's direction. After finishing his degree, Errol worked on various projects in the food space, including Community Supported Agriculture, local farmer's markets and urban community gardens. Eventually, he landed at Whole Foods Market as a stock clerk, and worked his way up thru a variety of store, regional and national positions for over 14 years, including the NY/NJ Grocery division. He spent 7 years leading the national grocery program, and was responsible for the merchandising, product assortment, promotional programs and financial performance for over 80 product categories and $5 Billion in annual sales. He used his influence to launch thousands of innovative new products and popularize new trends such as Non GMO, Biodynamic, and Fair Trade, including pushing over 10,000 items thru Non GMO Verification and raising over $1 Million for a number of state level GMO Labeling initiatives. He implemented procurement standards for pastured eggs, grass-fed milk, green cleaning products, sustainable seafood, humanely raised meats, and led trends on hemp, chia, and plant-based foods, while continually achieving aggressive sales and profitability targets, including a 300 basis point margin gain during his tenure.
Errol continues his work as an Advisor and Board Member to a number of entrepreneurs and companies in the Natural and Organic food industry. He is also involved in advocacy for a healthier and more equitable food system, with organizations such as the Austin/Travis County Food Policy Board, Demeter USA, the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Preservation and more. In his spare time he hikes, reads science fiction, tends to his gardens and hangs out with his kids.