Getting Personal With Kowalski's Deli Director, Jenny Mahoney
When you share an office wall with someone, you get a unique perspective on their life. But even though I can practically talk to her through that wall, even I learned a little bit about the newest member of our office in the most recent in this interview series. Our new Deli Director, Jenny Mahoney, is full of energy and enthusiasm, and though she’s new to the office, she’s been with Kowalski’s the better part of 17 years! Her experience on the sales floor and in the kitchen, working directly with customers and stakeholders at store level gives Jenny a fabulous perspective on her new role, to match her positive perspective on life. Here’s a little more about Jenny:
Occupation: Kowalski's Deli Director
Q. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A. I actually wavered at two ends of the spectrum. At one point I wanted to be a banker! Mostly because I thought I would get a ton of money! I also wanted to be a police officer! That probably came from living in the country and playing too much Cops & Robbers with my sister (or watching too much “C.H.I.P.S.!”).
Q. What was your first job in this field?
A. I started as a courtesy bagging groceries on Grand Avenue when I was a junior at Cretin-Derham Hall!
Q. How did you wind up in this business?
A. I’ve always loved customer service and helping people. When I was a young teenager, I worked for my grandma’s concession stand at county fairs. I think that’s when I first realized I loved making people happy when I helped them. Naturally, I started up front at our Grand Avenue location – soon I was offered other areas to work in and Deli just really seemed to fit me. I love the fast pace, and even more, I absolutely love helping customers and making their day.
Q. What do you cook at home?
A. We are a busy family with two little girls. We cook a lot, but it’s pretty basic. Luckily both of my parents were amazing cooks; I like to think I learned a lot from them. My family’s favorite is probably spaghetti. Simple food – with great flavor.
Q. Do you have a favorite "special occasion" dish?
A. My most recent summer pot luck dish has been my grandma’s Lush Lettuce recipe. It’s this really crunchy iceberg salad with bacon and an apple cider dressing. It is so good!! It goes perfectly with BBQ ribs!
Q. What’s your favorite item from your department?
A. It’s a classic. The Salsa di Parm! No matter what, if you are in a pinch and need to bring something somewhere, it is a winner! Family and friends always request I bring it to events.
Q. What about the rest of the store?
A. I would have to say the Gerber Amish Chicken in the Meat Department. Serving my family clean meats is very important to me. There is nothing better than our chicken, and knowing I can buy the same chicken cooked off of our rotisserie makes it even better.
Q. What makes Kowalski’s Deli Department special?
A. One of my favorite parts of our deli is, as both an employee and a customer, is our fresh salads. I love good food, and I love healthy food. To be able to get a bean, grain, vegetable or kale salad for lunch is the best. You can’t get this selection anywhere else in the Twin Cities.
Q. What are you most proud of in your department?
A. The level of service we provide to our customers and the relationships we have developed with them over the years.
Q. What's something few people know about you?
A. I am a country girl at heart. I grew up in Hampton, Minnesota. I deer hunted with my dad for 10+ years, and we fished as much as we possibly could as well. There is something about being outdoors in nature that brings me so much peace and joy. I’m looking forward to bringing my family to Canada someday for a fly-fishing trip!
You can send Jenny a note at email@example.com.