RD Close Up: Amy Michael, MS, RD, LDN, CDE: Martin’s Food Markets
What’s the story behind your experience in retail and your position with your store?
For the past year I have worked as an in-store nutritionist at Martin’s Food Market in Eldersburg, MD. Prior to this job, I spent over 10 years working as an outpatient diabetes educator at a local hospital. Having shopped at Martin’s, I knew about the in-store nutritionist program, and I thought that it would be a fascinating job. I was so excited when this opportunity became available, and I haven’t looked back!
What has been the biggest challenge for you as a dietitian working in the retail industry?
Previously, the world of diabetes was my comfort zone. The biggest challenge for me has been staying abreast of various health topics and nutrition trends. There is so much information available to consumers regarding nutrition and health, and this information changes quickly! I need to be able to answer questions about all types of nutrition-related topics from the benefits of nutritional yeast to elimination diets. Initially, I found it frustrating that I didn’t always have the answer to a question, but now I feel comfortable telling customers that I will do some research or reach out to my team to find the answer for them.
What have you done to equip yourself with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in the retail industry?
I have a very knowledgeable and supportive manager, and I work with a wonderful team of retail dietitians all of whom have been integral in helping me be successful at my job. I have also completed some of the Supermarket Business and Industry Skills Modules that are available through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The more time I spend in the grocery store, the more I learn about the business and the more I become an integral part of the store team.
Tell us about one of your programs or initiatives that you are most proud of.
I am most proud of the consultation component of my program. I really enjoy working with, educating and supporting individuals in my store and community. I have developed partnerships with local physicians, fitness centers, and other community organizations which has greatly helped to build my program; and to date I have completed over 500 in-store consultations. I am so appreciative to work for a company that understands the importance of promoting nutrition and wellness and better yet, allows me to do my job at basically no cost to the customers!
A Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator with a Master’s degree from West Virginia University and more than 14 years of experience, Amy enjoys guiding individuals toward better health. She has a special interest in the area of preventative nutrition especially related to heart disease and diabetes, but enjoys all aspects of nutrition. In her spare time she enjoys reading, cooking and spending time with her two young children.
GIANT/MARTIN’S is committed to helping its customers save money, save time and eat well. Founded in 1923 in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, GIANT/MARTIN’S operates nearly 200 grocery stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia, under the names of GIANT Food Stores and MARTIN’S Food Markets. GIANT/MARTIN’S employs more than 33,000 associates and is a division of Ahold USA. In addition to working with hundreds of local and regional organizations annually, GIANT/MARTIN’S has a long-standing focus on efforts to eradicate hunger and improve the quality of life for children. GIANT/MARTIN’S is one of the top ten fund-raisers in the country for local Children’s Miracle Network hospitals. The company was also recognized as 2015 Chain Retailer of the Year by Grocery Headquarters. For more information visit the GIANT or MARTIN’S websites. Find GIANT and MARTIN’S on Facebook and on Twitter @GiantFoodStores or @MartinsFoodMkts.