Finding Leadership through Fresh Food

Hear from Brothers Marketplace’s first Store Director Wander Rezende. After his story, find details on how you can join the Brothers Marketplace team, too!

When we open the Brothers Marketplace store in Kendall Square this fall, I’ll be celebrating 20 years of working for Roche Bros. I started when I was just 18! My family moved to Massachusetts from Brazil when I was fifteen and two years later, I picked up a job in a hotel kitchen and then another at Roche Bros. the following year to help make ends meet.

I quickly went full-time at Roche Bros. The hours were better — mostly day shifts — and even when I was on nights, I only had to work until 9:00pm. And the benefit packages were impressive! With those hours, I also picked up some part-time restaurant shifts at big chains like Legal Sea Foods and small ethnic spots. Although I learned a ton from each job, they never made me feel quite as rewarded and part of a team as I felt at Roche Bros.

The cleanliness of the Roche Bros. kitchens and the quality of the food we produce always impressed me. The ingredients are the best on the market. Although our Kitchen Managers order their own ingredients, they have a whole grocery store to use as a pantry! On a typical day, a Brothers Marketplace chef produces 7-10 different recipes (100-200 pounds of food per shift). From Quinoa Turkey Stuffed Peppers and Quesadillas to Truffle Orzo Salad and Honey Tamari Salmon, most of the food we sell is produced in-house from scratch. And our “manager’s specials” give all the cooks freedom to create their own recipes and see how they sell in real-time.

Roche Bros. has a great history of promoting from within, and starting in their kitchen gave me a clear path for growth. From working as a cook, I was promoted to Assistant Kitchen Manager and then Kitchen Manager. I loved heading up the team as I could develop new talent, and I was always so proud when people who worked for me got promoted.

The kitchen is so important at Roche Bros. that it gave me an opening to step up to an Assistant Store Manager role. While I was in charge of helping run the whole store, my focus was always the perishable departments such as produce, meat and bakery. My culinary background and passion for food helped me guide the perishable department managers on how to make beautiful displays and control expenses to hit gross profit goals.

The Brothers Marketplace format, which Roche Bros. launched in 2014, is a new concept really focusing on perishables and prepared foods. Given my background in these areas, I was invited to be the first Store Director for Brothers Marketplace. It was such a great success that we have now opened four locations, with a fifth coming to Cambridge this fall. At its core, Brothers Marketplace is a home away from home where customers and associates love to come to experience great food made fresh daily, and it’s a great place to build a food career.

Want to be part of the team?

Join Wander Rezende and the team at Roche Bros. They’re currently hiring a Kitchen Manager, Assistant Kitchen Manager, Garde Mange, Cooks, and Bakers for a Brothers Marketplace location opening in Cambridge this fall and numerous other culinary roles in Cambridge plus their 20 other retail locations. Learn more and apply here.

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