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Fresh Fields co-founder Jack Murphy is taking over as c.e.o. and president of fast-growing regional natural foods grocer Earth Fare, based in Asheville, N.C., following the resignation of Michael Cianciarulo.
The company said in a statement that Cianciarulo will continue to serve on the Earth Fare board of directors, "pursuant to his personal goals."
When Cianciarulo joined Earth Fare a decade ago, the company consisted of two stores, one in Asheville, and one in Charleston, S.C. Since that time, Earth Fare has grown to 13 locations in three states, with more than $100 million in annual sales. Several more locations are planned for 2008, according to the company.
Murphy most recently served as a key member on Earth Fare's board of directors. Prior to joining the board, he held the positions of c.e.o., and c.o.o. for several other growing businesses, including Fresh Fields Natural Grocery stores in the Northeast, which he co-founded. Fresh Fields grew quickly from its start in 1992, selling in 1996 to Whole Foods Markets.