The North Market in Columbus has named a Grandview Heights native and self-described "brand architect" as its new executive director. Rick Harrison Wolfe replaces David Wible, who retired in January after a dozen years of service at the gourmet and farmers market north of Downtown.
The North Market in Columbus has named a Grandview Heights native and self-described “brand architect” as its new executive director.
Rick Harrison Wolfe replaces David Wible, who retired in January after a dozen years of service at the gourmet and farmers market north of Downtown.
Wolfe has more than two decades of retail and branding experience with international brands such as Cole Haan and Skechers, both shoe retailers.
Owner of Wolfe Group Ltd., Wolfe has been a business and brand development consultant for the clothing, footwear and hospitality industries since coming home in 2010.
“I’d been a corporate guy my entire life,” said Wolfe, who left his position as vice president of brand development at Skechers USA in 2009. Before that, he was a regional account manager for Donald J. Pliner collections of women’s and men’s footwear, handbags and leatherwear products.
“I decided I wanted to come home, and I wanted to change directions,” he said
Wolfe bought a food truck and created the Cheesy Truck in 2011 by translating the Los Angeles concept for gourmet grilled cheese and snacks to central Ohio.
“I was a small business, the same as (the market’s merchants), except that I had four wheels and something that broke down every day,” he said, laughing.
He sold the profitable food truck after 13 months, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Columbus has changed a lot since he left for college in the early 1990s. “The thing that really amazed me coming from California was how aware and passionate people are about local here,” Wolfe said.
“The outpouring of new friends and old friends since this has been announced today is beyond belief,” he said. “That doesn’t happen in LA.”
The North Market’s board president praised its new leader.
“This is an important time for the market as we focus on building the vision for the future, and Rick’s experience, passion, creativity and energy will be key to our ongoing success,” said Matthew Hall, president of the market’s board.
North Market opened in 1876.
The market’s 30-plus merchants, mostly owners or operators, offer produce, meat, poultry, seafood, flowers and specialty food items, as well as international and prepared foods, and gifts.