Meet our Experts: Deli manager Mary H.
Mary Hoban, our deli manager at Byerly’s Burnsville, is a dedicated Byerly’s employee of almost 30 years. She has a passion for helping her customers with everything from providing dinner ideas to answering questions about specialty cheeses. Mary loves being one of many food experts her customers turn to.
Q: What do you do at Lunds and Byerly’s?
A: I’m the deli manager at Byerly’s Burnsville. I truly wear a lot of hats as my department includes everything from sliced meats and specialty cheeses to our fresh salad bar and hot, prepared foods.
Every day is a little different in my world. One minute I’m ordering for our fresh kitchen, making sure to take into account our customers’ needs, upcoming weather forecasts and special events. The next minute I’m creating appetizing displays and answering questions. I love helping our customers with all their needs, whether it’s providing them ideas for dinner that evening or answering questions about specialty cheeses.
Q: What’s your background?
A: Before working for Lunds and Byerly’s I worked for a pediatric office. I became a full-time mom with four kids and then started working at Byerly’s in the evening when my little ones got older. I switched to day shifts as they entered school.
I take great pride in my job and our company. I started when Byerly’s was still owned by Mr. Byerly, and I feel fortunate to continue working for a family-owned company. I have a wonderful staff here and have made a lot of friends through Lunds and Byerly’s over the years.
Q: You have new grab & go salads in your deli – how were they created?
A: I was part of a team that developed many new varieties of our grab & go salads. It was a fun mix of people and ideas. We all learned from each other and helped create some pretty delicious salads. We looked at the salads from every point of view with the help of our team members: Retail, production, what’s trending and customer interests.
First, we started looking at new trends, recipes and ideas. We threw everything up on a board and started weeding out our ideas. After that we looked at what our customers were saying and what our competitors were doing.
Our team was also committed to increasing the nutritional values of our salads. We cleaned up a lot of our existing salads’ ingredients and worked on brand new salads with a more nutrition-focused angle.
Q: Did you create one of the new grab & go salads?
A: I’m proud to say I did! I played a lead role in creating our new Paleo Chicken Ginger Salad. For those who don’t know, the Paleo diet focuses on modern foods that emulate the nutritional diet of our hunter-gatherer ancestors from the Paleolithic era. Following this growing food trend, I wanted to incorporate a good crunch behind the greens, choose a lot of different textures, and add bright colors that brought out that “yum” factor.
My son is an avid Paleo diet follower. He’s a sergeant for the Metro Transit Police and is very health-conscious. I created a few different Paleo salads and brought them to his house for a taste test. He gave me a lot of great pointers, flavor suggestions and ideas. With his recommendations and the use of various Paleo websites, I wanted to ensure I was following the Paleo diet as best I could.
My team at Byerly’s Burnsville really likes the salad I created, and it’s becoming a popular salad with my customers. I take pride in knowing that’s the salad I created for our customers. I love telling them, “I helped create that one!”
I’m proud to have been a part of this talented salad-creation team. Our new grab & go salads really are nutritious, fresh and delicious!