RD Close-Up: Katy Magoon-Fredette, RDN, LD, Hannaford Registered Dietitian
By RDBA Executive Director, Annette Maggi, MS, RDN, LD, FAND
Please describe your role at Hannaford.
My role at Hannaford in Nashua, NH can be described as ever-changing. No day is the same. I could start my day doing a low salt store tour for a group of individuals with congestive heart failure and end it doing “food play” with a cheerful group of 7 year-olds looking to earn their Healthy Shopper Patch as part of the scouts. Some days feel like controlled chaos when multiple groups are coming in, a food demonstration has to take place, and associates are hungry for knowledge (and snacks!)—but there is nothing I would rather be doing! My role has me providing a wide array of services including weekly food and nutrition demonstrations, group store tours, individual store tours, community presentations, school visits, and associate education.
What's the story behind your experience in retail and how you came to work at Hannaford?
My path to Hannaford started during my dietetic internship. I played an important role during the implementation of Hannaford’s Guiding Stars Program in the university dining facilities. During the latter half of my dietetic internship, I spent time shadowing, long-time Hannaford Dietitian, Marilyn Mills which generated an excitement for community education that I never knew existed. A chance vacancy in three New Hampshire Hannaford stores at the end of my dietetic internship proved timely and I jumped at the opportunity to join the company. Since then, I have had the pleasure of providing point of sale education and community outreach in eight Hannaford stores—possibly more than any other Hannaford Dietitian. I currently provide services at the Nashua, New Hampshire Hannaford Supermarket and feel that customers enjoy my approachable personality, ability to adapt education to their specific needs, and my varied expertise.
What is one thing you wish you had known before starting your career in retail?
Honestly, I wish I knew how much I would love it and how many lives I would change. I have worked with so many associates, customers, community organizations, and local groups during my tenure at Hannaford. I have associates, customers, and managers who I’ve stayed in contact with since 2010 when I started with Hannaford. They still share recipes that they loved that I made. We talk about ways that I helped them or their family. I’ve seen them take the information I’ve shared with them and apply it to their life long-term for positive outcomes. Those connections are a huge reason for why I stay with the company. They say “find a job you love and you’ll never work another day in your life”—my role at Hannaford is exactly that.
Has there been anything specific that has held you back?
Space! As you can imagine, carrying out nutrition education at the supermarket can come with its own issues. I’ve found that my following at Nashua Hannaford has grown and grown almost to the point where it’s too big at times. Carrying out a tour of 18-20 people during busy shopping times isn’t ideal for attendees or our shoppers. Our café sitting space allows for 15-20 but not comfortably and the hustle and bustle of the store makes it hard to hear as a class attendee. Our conference room is great for sit-down classes but removes the element of bringing nutrition to life. It would be great to see supermarkets—whether Hannaford or similar programs--build classrooms and offices for their registered dietitians to carry out services in the most effective way possible. It would also continue to foster respect and credibility for retails RDs.
Has there been anything specific that help you moved forward in your role?
My passion for dietetics, willingness to be flexible with the hours I work, and having a supportive spouse. You get out what you put in. I’ve had to work hard to build relationships in the communities that I’ve served. Those relationships have helped make Nashua one of my most successful stores to date. I also have to admit that I gear my schedule to the needs of my community. I work late into the evening, come in early, and shift my days quite often to ensure groups, individuals, etc are able to utilize my services.
Is there a program or initiative of which you are most proud?
I am really proud of the partnership that I have with our local YMCA here in Nashua. Over the past 2 years, I have had the pleasure of educating nearly 500 individuals who take part in their Prescribe The Y and LIVESTRONG Programs. Participants from these two programs come in quarterly for group education and store tours related to healthy eating for children and teenagers as well as individuals effected by cancer. I have become their trusted community resource for nutrition education, made long-lasting connections, and increased awareness of our RD Program and Guiding Stars Program at Hannaford.
Katy Magoon-Fredette, RDN, LD obtained her B.S. degree in Health Science with an Option in Nutrition from Keene State College and completed her Dietetic Internship through the University of New Hampshire. She resides in Hopkinton, NH with her husband, two young sons, and boxer. In her free time, she enjoys running, hiking, spending time with family boating on the lake and camping in the White Mountains.