Retail Dietitian Close Up: Shauna Del Prete, ShopRite of Uniondale
Michelle Leonetti, Dietetic Intern
Shauna Del Prete is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Dietitian-Nutritionist in the state of New York. She received an undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Miami in 2005 and went on to receive a B.S. in Nutrition at C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University. After completing her dietetic internship at C.W. Post in 2009, Shauna joined NY Weight Management programs. Here she worked with bariatric clients providing counseling for weight loss, weight loss surgery, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. In 2011 Shauna joined ShopRite as a Retail Dietitian. Here she provides one on one counseling, store tours, cooking classes, product demos, and much more. She is an expert at navigating the supermarket with health in mind, helping people make healthy purchases every day. She is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and holds a certificate in Adult Weight Management.
Tell us a little bit about your retailer.
I work for the Thompson family at the ShopRite of Uniondale.
What’s the story on your experience in retail and your position with ShopRite of Uniondale?
I have been at ShopRite for over 3 ½ years. I was lucky to find the job after looking for a full time, non-clinical position. The retail dietitian position was exactly what I was looking for.
Over time my job has evolved. In the beginning it was a lot of customer outreach to promote the Live Right services. Now I am able to focus on implementing larger in-store programs while still providing nutrition counseling, grocery store tours, cooking demos and classes. I also do a lot of work with community agencies and oversee our gluten free department. I love that my job changes every day.
What has been the biggest challenge for you as a dietitian working in the retail industry?
I was never much of a planner but in this position you always have to be thinking ahead for programs to succeed. It took me a little while to get used to setting up a calendar a month or two in advance. Doing so has helped me accomplish more as a retail dietitian.
What is the one thing that you wish you would have known before starting your career as a retail dietitian?
That supermarkets are always freezing!
Has there been anything specific that has held you back? If yes, tell us about this and how you dealt with it.
In the beginning I held myself back. I would worry about people not showing up to events but after a few months on the job I learned that was rarely the case. With the right advertising programs and events are well attended. You can’t fly if you are afraid to fall!
In a similar vein, has there been anything specific that has helped you move forward? If yes, tell us about this.
My family owned a chain of stores that I worked in all my life. I was very comfortable with the retail world and understood that my services were not just to help customers but also to enhance my store's business. Also having the full support and encouragement from the Thompson family has helped.
What have you done to equip yourself with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in the retail industry?
This is a position where you need to be on top of the most recent nutrition research and what is going on in regards to nutrition in the media. I have found the Nutrition Entrepreneurs Group to be extremely helpful with keeping me current on the business of nutrition as well as current events. I also subscribe to Smartbrief and Nutrition Science Daily to help me stay connected to the media and current nutrition findings.
Tell us about one of your programs that you are most proud of and why.
I am most proud of my children’s cooking programs. I have children as young as 18 months working together to create all different kinds of recipes. They get to try new and healthy foods while having fun. I get to teach nutrition along the way and help build their confidence in the kitchen.