Introducing Gray Cat

Gray Cat Enterprises supplements your core staff drawing from its wealth of senior-level management experiences to deliver for you.


John Matthews is the president and CEO of Gray Cat Enterprises and is responsible for the management of all consulting activities for the firm, which include retail consulting for multi-unit operations; interim divisional or general management leadership; consumer marketing for companies launching products in the retail sector; and strategic project management.

His more than twenty-five years’ experience in retail management includes marketing and operations management; category management; mergers and acquisitions; facilities management; and real estate and corporate communications in a spectrum of industries,
including quick service restaurant, convenience store operations, and general retail.

Prior to founding his own company in 2004, Matthews held senior management positions as president of Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches and as VP of marketing, merchandising, facilities, corporate communications, and real estate at Clark Retail Enterprises, Inc. Additionally, Matthews worked for nine years in marketing management as the national marketing director of the Little Caesars Pizza Corporation.

Interim Executive Leadership

Gray Cat can step into an interim executive leadership role in your organization to manage a division and/or company to the P&L level.

Retail, Quick-Service Restaurant and Convenience Store Expertise

25+ years direct corporate retail, quick-service restaurant and convenience operations, marketing, facilities, real estate, corporate communications and merchandising management.

Senior-Level Project Management

Multi-departmental expertise to develop, guide and manage complex projects across your company.

My Story

When I was young, my father began to inspire me to consider starting my own company.  He was a life-long corporate salesperson, and it wasn't until his late fifties that he decided to go it alone.  His experience as an independent businessperson was the reason, and he encouraged me to venture out on my own.  So, after decades of senior-level experience in corporate America with billion-dollar companies, I decided to start my own business in 2004 and Gray Cat Enterprises was the result. 

One thing I would constantly notice throughout my career, was how many small and large businesses struggled because they lack a sound understanding of basic business strategies. Some understand certain aspects of entrepreneurship well but stumble in other areas.  So, I decided to launch Gray Cat with the intent of providing management consulting on the importance of business planning and the intricacies of daily operations, merchandising, marketing, real estate, and capital management.   My corporate background brings a unique perspective of the many working aspects facing a business.

Today, Gray Cat focuses on three areas:  

  • Interim Executive Management - where I oversee a company of a division to the P&L level on an interim basis
  • Strategic Planning - helping companies large and small better define their strategic direction through tactical initiatives
  • Senior-Level Project Management - tackling large, complex projects that add value to the overall business.  

What separates Gray Cat from most “consultants” is that I am an operating consultant - an extension of the internal team.

"I've had the pleasure of working closely with John for the last 3 years. What sets John apart from the pack is not only the favorable results that he drives, yet it's also in the way he achieves it. He is a quick study on things, yet he always starts with building trust. He seeks to first listen and understand, then based on that, he overlays his skills to solve the problem identified. He collaborates. He is accountable. He is smart. He pushes where appropriate. He is persistent. He is competitive. He always seems to find a path to success. If you are fortunate enough to get the chance to work with John - jump at it!"

- Mark Byers, Safeguard Business Systems (VP Deluxe Corp)

"Global Partners hired John Matthews and Gray Cat and he provided an expertise that we were looking for to enhance our operations across a number of fronts, producing great results. His personality meshes perfectly with our culture and has consistently provided creative solutions in a timely manner. All in all, he has been a tremendous value to our organization in operations, merchandising, marketing and strategic planning. John is a high integrity guy that is a great contributor to the overall success of our team."

- Mark Cosenza, Senior Vice President at Global Partners LP

"John has been an incredible person and partner to work with. Prior to kicking things off, we didn't have a solid framework for building out a 1 or 3 year plan, which are critical building blocks necessary to achieve the exponential growth that we're aiming for:
- Developing employee and company incentive programs
- Developing a series of KPI's to manage our business more precisely
- Built budgetary and planning frameworks 

I would highly recommend John as his work and contributions to our business have been incredibly valuable. 

- David Spratte, CEO & Co-Founder at Carpe

   Current Board Positions Held By John Matthews


Reach out to a senior-level executive who hits the ground running 

Gray Cat Enterprises.   More than consulting.  We actually get work done.

Contact Gray Cat Here