Hockessin resident Bob Kleszics recently received a Service to the Industry Award from the Independent Natural Foods Retailers Association in recognition of his 40-year career as a natural foods grocer.

Kleszics was recognized during the INFRA national conference held in June in Minneapolis with the award, which is given annually “to a store, individual or company who is doing outstanding work that is important to the independent natural foods retail industry.”

Kleszics is the president and CEO of Harvest Market and is co-owner along with his wife, Karen Ashley. Harvest Market employs 62 employees between the market and the in-house kitchen, and is known for its extensive selection of organic, non-GMO and locally produced foods as well as its prepared foods program and customer service.

Kleszics began his natural foods career at the Newark Co-op in 1979. During his 16 years there, he rose through the ranks from clerk to buyer to produce manager and eventually became the co-op’s general manager. After leaving the co-op, Kleszics opened Harvest Market in Hockessin in 1995. Harvest Market moved to its current location in 2005 and since then has won a total of ten Best of Delaware Readers’ Choice Awards from Delaware Today Magazine in the “Healthy and Organic Food” and “Gourmet to Go” categories.