8 years ago

Meet our
experts: Produce manager Chelsea Weinand

produce managers are experts on everything from the sweet and nutritious to the
strange and delicious. They can help you select the perfect watermelon and
explain why you need to try an ugli
. At our Lunds on Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis, produce
manager Chelsea Weinand loves inspiring her customers.

Q: What do
you do at Lunds & Byerlys?

A: I’m the produce manager at Lunds Hennepin Avenue. My team
and I work on creating a sensational shopping experience for our customers
every time they walk throughout our colorful department. I focus most of my day
on our customers – the product knowledge I can provide to them, showcasing our
quality products for them and ensuring our high standards are exceeded while
maintaining the reputation we’ve built since 1939.

I talk to customers about trend-forward and healthy foods.
Whether I’m giving a customer inspiring ideas for their dinner that night or
helping someone find their adventurous side by trying something new, I want my
customers to walk away even smarter about the food they’re buying.

I also train and mentor a team of strong company leaders. I
work very closely with my staff, giving them a lot of responsibility and
ownership. I think of our department like a pie (apple of course): I’m
responsible for the whole pie, but everyone has their piece of what they’re
contributing to. We have a well-balanced, hardworking team.

I have a great relationship with those I work with, and I’ve
never had a day where I’m not excited about the work I do and the company I
work for.

Q: What’s
your background?

A: I started working with the company when I was 15 as a
carryout at Byerly’s in Golden Valley. I worked my way up through the ranks,
experiencing all of our departments along the way. I truly found my niche
working in produce – there’s so much expertise to share, so much to display and
so much to learn about. I love the revolving items each season; it’s never the
same. It’s such a rewarding department to work in.

I went to school for business marketing and management and
have worked with a lot of really great produce leaders who have gotten me to
where I am today.

I’ve also attended Driscoll’s University in California where
I learned so much about berries and the skill behind how they are grown, picked
and shipped. And this year, I’m going to Giorgio (our mushroom grower). These
are a few examples of the expertise I bring back to my customers. 

Q: What do
you like about working in the produce department?

A: I love inspiring customers! Nourishing people and guiding
them toward a healthier lifestyle is a passion of mine. It’s great welcoming
customers in and being a store advocate; I love setting the tone for the rest
of our store as one of the first faces they see.

I really enjoy educating customers constantly. A lot of
people in downtown Minneapolis are very health-conscious; they want to know
what’s trending and what’s healthy. I’m not necessarily an overall food expert,
but I love going to restaurants or watching food shows to learn more about the
world of food and offer that advice to customers.

It’s so fun that my customers here want to know about what’s
going on in the produce world, and I love sharing it with them. I finally found
a place where people like to eat the weird stuff I eat! I also enjoy working
with other departments on what to pair with other foods. Customers may not have
come into our store for those specific items, but maybe they’ll switch up their
dinner plans once we give them some pairing ideas. 

Q: What
tips and tricks can you give our readers?

A: Our season’s finest blackberries are here and they’re
only available for a limited time each spring! This is the absolute best time
of the year to buy blackberries. These blackberries are not the lip puckering,
eye squinting, sour berries you may be familiar with. The season’s finest bring
blackberries, and the entire berry category, to a whole new level.

Unbelievably big with unparalleled flavor, Driscoll’s holds
these berries to an even higher standard. They are sorted for their size and
tested for sugar content to make sure everyone who tries them will have an
experience they will not forget.