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Bobby Stokes has joined Sunflower Market in Phoenix, AZ, as a full-line buyer for the supermarket chain. He had previously worked as the director of procurement for the retailer.

"I happily rejoined the company as a full-line buyer because of the amazing expansion we are experiencing - and growth, despite the economy," he said. "We work as a team - [there are] three full-line buyers - so we all have input and work with all vendors, carriers, etc."

Before returning to Sunflower Market, the produce veteran was on a two-year hiatus and spent some time traveling. "I came back to the produce business because I love the industry and the daily challenges," he said.

Mr. Stokes has worked in the industry since 1975. "I started at Albertson's Seattle as a produce manager, [then] moved to Associated Grocers in Seattle from 1982 to 1990, where I was a full-line produce buyer," he said. He then moved to Los Angeles, where he was branch manager for Amerifresh, brokering a full line to Southern California markets until 1992. Then he left the trade to work as vice president of recruiting and sales for Mainstreet Trading Co., a licensed commodity broker. He returned to produce in 2005 to work for Sunflower as director of procurement.