Foxtrot, a fast-growing Chicago-based chain of 12 upscale, delivery-focused corner stores and cafés, is expanding its private label arm with the addition of two senior hires.
Whole Foods Market veteran Mitch Madoff joins Foxtrot as senior vice President of private label and supply chain, while Chef Tae Strain, most recently of Momofuku CCDC in Washington, D.C., joins Foxtrot as corporate executive chef. Together, they will chart the next chapter of Foxtrot’s private label business across its café, prepared foods, shelf-stable items and gifting offerings, according to CEO and co-founder Mike LaVitola.
"Our private label represents the core of what we love at Foxtrot — finding and developing the most delicious products from all corners of the culinary universe, and delivering them right to our customers’ doors,” said LaVitola. “We're thrilled to welcome Mitch and Chef Tae, who together bring world-class culinary talent and passion to our version of convenience. We are excited to set a new standard for what customers can expect out of their local market."
Madoff comes to Foxtrot with an expansive knowledge of the private label space, having worked at Whole Foods Market for the last 20 years. As vice president of exclusive brands, he managed some of the most successful brands for the company. A longtime food industry veteran and a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Madoff brings a culinary eye to his new role that will be leading the growth of the company’s private label division, its fastest-scaling category.
Foxtrot’s private label line includes unique packaged foods that range from the whimsical to the nostalgic, including items like colorful gummy snack mixes and an adult version of the Oatmeal Cream Pie, made with Bourbon. This summer, with Madoff at the helm, Foxtrot will launch its own line of ice creams, a category that has proven to be a favorite for its customers.
“I’ve been in the business of private label for a long time, and the way Foxtrot approaches their product creation is unlike any other brand out there,” said Madoff. “It’s the mindset and passion for bringing joy to the customer through the product experience that will make them a leader in the retail and convenience space. I’m thrilled to be joining such an innovative and forward-thinking team.”
As corporate executive chef, Chef Tae will lead the recipe development of private label items and that of “Meals by Foxtrot,” a menu of grab-and-go breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack offerings. Chef Tae brings to Foxtrot over 15 years of diverse cooking experience in James Beard award-winning and Michelin recognized restaurants. Most recently, he led the resurgence of David Chang’s Momofuku CCDC in Washington, D.C., where he concepted a full-menu rebrand. Previously, he worked at The Progress restaurant in San Francisco, where he served as Chef De Cuisine when the restaurant was awarded its first Michelin Star.
“What drew me to Foxtrot was their sense of integrity and ambition,” said Chef Tae. “They have this incredible energy, and are truly dedicated to creating a unique experience for their guests beyond the status quo of the convenience model. It’s rare to see groups in this sector be so invested in evolving their culinary program. I have the utmost respect for the team, and am grateful to bring a new perspective as we define what our food can be.”
Launched in Chicago in 2014, Foxtrot combines an upscale corner store and café with app-based purchasing that makes its entire inventory available for delivery in under an hour. The company currently has 12 stores across Chicago, Dallas and Washington, D.C. with plans to open nine more locations by the end of 2021. Customers coast- to-coast can purchase select items from Foxtrot via the company’s online Ship Shop.