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Merry and Meaty Holidays!

landry jeffNothing says “Season’s Greetings” like meat!! Think about it; whether you celebrate your holiday with roast goose or brisket, glazed ham or standing rib roast, usually there’s a large format animal protein at the centerpiece of your holiday table. And, yes, Tofurkeys count too!

In our holiday edition of “Get to Know Your Native Mainer” I interview one half of Native Maine’s Team Meat, Chef Jeff Landry!
Hi, Jeff! Welcome welcome.
Thanks, Jeff.  First question: Have you ever been to Round Pond? Why, yes, I’ve been several times! I’ve been to the Anchor Inn Restaurant out there….had lunch there it was delicious. Round Pond is one of my favorite places in Maine.
Fabulous! What’s your job title?
Protein buyer
How long have you worked at Native Maine?
4 years, 4 glorious years
How would you describe your a child?
Oh wait, we need to pause so Jeff can answer a protein buyer question for our Operations Director, Ed Dibiase. Ed says an important part of Jeff’s job description is running down into the warehouse to  holler...!
Well, explaining my job to a child is like explaining it to the guys in the warehouse sometimes!  Okay, seriously, how would I describe my job to the layperson…well, there are several components: Purchasing of product that is already in the conventional items, already processed and customer ready. Then, there’s finding local farmers that want to work with us. I work with them to bring them through the process of working with a distributor, bringing the animal from field to our warehouse. We talk food safety, packaging, cuts, etc. Then, there’s showing all of these great products out to our customers.
What about yelling at the warehouse? Where does that fit in? Ha, funny.
What did you do before you were the protein buyer at Native Maine?
I think the world knows me! I think they know me as THE chef from my many television appearances and radio spots! Yes, yes, Didn’t you have a restaurant: I did. Worked at a few places in Portland? I did. I owned the Farmers Table for 5 years. I ran food operations for Portland Harbor hotel, Cinque Terra, worked at the Harraseekett Inn for a number of years. Had a restaurant earlier in my life in Lewiston called the Seasons Cafe. That’s it! That’s the big ones!
What does a typical day look like for you?
Coffee: that’s the big thing...shaking off the hangover is key!
Seriously, my day starts with looking at email to see what special orders have come in over the course of the evening, then I check inventory levels, finalize orders with vendors.  And then...a couple of games of solitare….
All right! And then you’re done...out of here! Well, then I gotta make lunch for most of the crew….Well, true, there’s that. You do that very well.
If you could switch jobs with someone at Native Maine, would you? Who would it be?
I would switch jobs with Dave because there’s no accountability in his area.  That’s what Kenny said too! Poor Dave!
No, really, I would not switch my job with anyone. I like my job. That’s the truth.
If you could change one thing about working here what would it be?
Well, we're on the way to creating more warehouse space for the meat category. Once that is done I’ll have a pretty darn good job though it might be nice to have more pictures of meat around my desk. Well, that should be easy enough to take care of…..
What do you like most about your job?  The pictures of meat that you’ll be putting up? 
Samples! No, seriously, the ability to get on the road to go and visit accounts.  Get face to face with customers, get product in front of them, see what they think….
What’s your favorite meme that you’ve created at work?
There’s been so many.... maybe too many....
I’m actually afraid to ask you this one...What’s one thing that nobody here at Native Maine knows about you (that we can put into the blog!)
Well, I’ve sung onstage with several bands. I can believe that! What bands? Well, Ruckus. They bring the microphone to me know when I’m in the audience. What songs? Top 3: Fat Bottom Girls, Queen; Creep, Radio Head and Simple Man, Lynrd Skynrd. How come you didn’t sing at our holiday party? No one asked! But team meat is about to initiate a new program; Serenade and Marinade--where we demo proteins to customers while singing to them.
Is there one thing you want to ask to me….
I wasn’t prepared for that question….Good, I feel like I just dodged a bullet!
Thanks for letting me interview you, Jeff!  Go Team Meat!

A Party, a Potluck, and Warm Tidings
Native Maine employees celebrated the holidays in style at the Doubletree Hotel in South Portland.  We had great music and food, an awesome magician to entertain us, and, of course, a cornhole tournament!  The highlight of the evening was the video montage created by our IT expert Mike Posey celebrating life at Native Maine.  Kudos to Troy Andrews, Sasha Philbrick, Kerri Grayson, Denise Bean, and Mike for creating such a wonderful event!  This Thursday, we'll celebrate again with our second annual Holiday Potluck!  Native Mainers will bring in a dish that they eat during their own holiday celebrations.  Last year's potluck was both yummy and eye opening! 

Everyone at Native Maine wishes you and your family the best of the holiday season! 
Stay warm, stay safe, and enjoy!


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Native Maine Produce & Specialty Foods

10 Bradley Drive
Westbrook, ME 04092-2011

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