GREENSBORO, N.C. – Specialty grocer, The Fresh Market Inc., announced the appointment of Larry Appel as the company’s president and CEO, effective immediately. He will also take a seat on the company’s board of directors. Brian Nicholson has been serving as interim CEO and will return to his post as CFO.

Appel comes to the supermarket chain with nearly 30 years of experience in retail, legal and corporate strategy. From 2002 to 2012, Appel served at Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. in a variety of senior leadership roles including COO, chief human resources officer, head of strategy and chief legal officer. After leaving Winn-Dixie, Appel served as CEO of Skeeter Snacks LLC. From 1997 to 2002, Appel was senior vice president of legal at The Home Depot Inc.

“Following an extensive search and review of both internal and external candidates, the Board believes that Larry is the best leader for The Fresh Market going forward. We look forward to partnering with Larry and are confident in his ability to lead operationally and to execute strategies to ‘win’ with our customers,” said Andrew Jhawar, senior partner at Apollo Global Management and chairman of the board at The Fresh Market. “We are grateful to Brian Nicholson for his efforts in improving operations during this transition period, and we value his work in the critical role of CFO as we implement our strategy under Larry’s new leadership.”

“I am committed to reenergizing all that sets The Fresh Market apart as a great brand and retail store,” Appel said. “Its heritage and history provide a strong platform in continuing to define the company as a unique ‘specialty’ grocer, offering best-in-class products and customer service. I plan to work with our teams to further elevate every aspect of our business – all with a sharp focus on delivering an exceptional customer experience every day in every store.”

Appel received a B.A. from the Univ. of Virginia and a J.D. from the Univ. of Pennsylvania Law School.