If a recipe for collard greens doesn't get you jazzed, look to Barb Rundle, Wegmans' "Veggie Coach," for inspiration. From her station near the front of the company's Warrington, Pa., grocery store, Rundle spends her days demonstrating recipes and getting patrons psyched about eating from the healthier parts of the food pyramid.
Rundle is one of 77 veggie coaches company-wide; Wegmans staffs one per store. (Some of its larger stores have coaches in the meat and seafood departments as well.) Besides recipes, Rundle also teaches customers tricks to make healthy food taste better. "You build a relationship with the customers," Rundle says. They come in and say, 'Hey what am I making this week?' I'm their Rachael Ray."
Rundle previously worked as team leader for Wegman's Chef's Case, an area of the store that offers ready-to-eat meals for shoppers. She's not formally trained as a nutritionist or a chef. But when the position became available three and a half years ago, she jumped on it, thinking it would be a good way to try out new recipes for her family -- which she does regularly.
"Heck, when my husband comes in, I say 'Try this collard green, do you like it?' Because who wants to go to the trouble of making a big recipe and having everyone hating it?"