MICHELLE O'CONNOR

Chef, Kitchen & Prepared Foods Operations Consultant
Strategic Partner, Thought For Food

Michelle is a leader in the natural and organic foods industry. Most recently, she was managing a staff of 55 in a deli that grosses over $4m a year, bringing the organization national recognition for its hard-earned success. When she took over deli operations for the renowned co-op 10 years ago, the deli had been failing to meet every one of its financial goals. Michelle rolled up her sleeves and got to work overhauling the entire business structure by putting new systems into place, revising the scheduling, creating stations and changing recipes to cut costs.

Within 2 years the deli met margin goal, and within 6 years weekly sales had more than doubled. And sales have continued to grow year over year. It was her restaurant experience, her passion for clean food, her ability to hire and cultivate great talent, and her fortitude that helped her turn the deli around. Since then she has been instrumental in helping other stores achieve similar results.


For the last 15 years, Michelle has been working in the local and organic food industry with her experience spanning from purchasing, service, prep and production to management. She has extensive experience in seasonal menu writing, creating programs that meet alternative dietary requirements, training staff and leadership teams and enjoys being hands on in the kitchen.


Michelle is an organic farmer and chef, customer service expert and deli operations maven. She specializes in deli development, creating programs, systems and operations, Chef Tec training and set up, and enjoys sharing her energy, knowledge and experience with others. Michelle's keen insight, creative solutions and energetic, hands-on approach can help any food service operation reach its highest potential.


Michelle has led successful workshops on Raw Foods, Knife Skills and Deli Operations. Among her extensive accreditations, she is certified in Serv Safe and Fierce Conversations and has helped countless stores set up their Chef Tec software. She has for many years written her popular Kitchen Thyme article which is featured in the Provender Alliance Journal.

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