Jennifer, a Wegmans Corporate Nutritionist since 2003, is the lead nutritionist for Menu Magazine, and creates “eat well. live well.” videos on wegmans.com. As part of the nutrition team, she also works with employees to educate on resources at Wegmans that can help employees and customers live healthier, better lives. Some examples of theseinclude Wegmans Wellness Keys that help customers quickly find foods that meet their special dietary needs; Menu magazine which offers easy, delicious recipes; and “eat well. live well” pharmacy education tables that share health and wellness shopping tips. She also works as an internal consultant on product development teams to offer nutritional guidance on Wegmans brand items.
Nutrition is a second career for Jennifer. Her passion for all things culinary and physical activity led her to trade a career in software documentation and training, for one more connected to food. Jennifer graduated with a Bachelor’s in Nutrition from Rochester Institute of Technology and completed her dietetic internship at Syracuse University. She also holds a Bachelor’s in Political Science from the University of Rochester. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, traveling, yoga and plenty of outdoor activities with her husban
Tell us a little bit about Wegmans.
Wegmans Food Markets is a family owned retail grocery chain with 83 stores in 6 states (New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts).
What’s the story on your experience in retail and your position with Wegmans.
My passion for the preventative and healing powers of food led me back to school to begin a second career in nutrition. A job at Wegmans was my dream when I started school, but at the time there were only two RDs on staff, so I volunteered for Jane Andrews (now my boss at Wegmans) whenever I had a break from school. The stars aligned and when I finished my dietetics internship, Jane offered me a job – I’ve been here for about 10 years. I work as the lead nutritionist on Menu magazine and help to inform and educate our customers and employees on nutrition related topics through a variety of channels (brochures, presentations, blogs, videos, online content, quarterly focus, etc).
What has been the biggest challenge for you as a dietitian working in the retail industry?
Learning the ins and outs of the retail industry – it is fascinating, but it can be complicated!
What is one thing that you wish you would have known before starting your career as a retail dietitian?
Our team provides information that helps people live healthier, better lives. We translate nutrition science & communicate it in a very practical, approachable nature. I learned the importance of delivering messages this way and how to do it on the job. I wish I had learned how to do it earlier, because it’s one of the most valuable skills we can have as retail dietitians.
Has there been anything specific that has helped you move forward? If yes, tell us about this.
I’m very curious, which has helped to offer a variety of experiences for me at Wegmans. I feel like I’m always learning in this job. I love that and it’s one of the ways I define moving forward.
What have you done to equip yourself with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in the retail industry?
I’m never afraid to ask questions or ask for help!
Tell us about one of your programs or initiatives that you are most proud of and why.
Helping to deliver our Eat Well Live Well messages. We’re teaching people how to become more aware of what they put on their plates, to get more fruits and vegetables and to move more. We do it with practical and approachable suggestions that really can and do improve people’s lives.