Getting Personal with Kowalski's Marketing Director, Laurie Bell

Like many of our stakeholders, Kowalski's Marketing Director Laurie Bell has spent her entire career in the grocery business – especially fitting for a girl who even dreamed of working in a grocery store as a child. Like the woman who she picked to portray her in a movie about her life, she's a bubbly blonde who is ever-cheerful and easy going. She's somebody we're glad to know and we think you'll like getting to know her, too.

Kowalski's Marketing Director Laurie BellLaurie Bell

Occupation: Kowalski's Marketing Director

Q. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A.
I really wanted to be a cashier. I loved going to the grocery store with my mom and thought it would be fun to be able to scan things across the register.

Q. What was your first job in this field?
A.
I started out as a courtesy at the store in Inver Grove Heights.

Q. How did you wind up in this job?
A.
I was working at the Woodbury location while studying Marketing Communications in River Falls, Wisconsin. I was able to do an internship in the Marketing Department and later was offered a marketing position.

Q. What are the biggest challenges of your job?
A. 
Managing all the different projects we have going on can sometimes be the biggest challenge but also the most fun part, too, as there is always many things going on.

Q. What makes marketing for Kowalski's unique?
A. I think we are different in that we do not go to market like some of the typical grocers do. We really focus on our stores, the customers and the employees – the experience that is had in our stores. That is one of the things I love about our company.

Laurie and familyQ. How has the Kowalski's "brand" changed in the time that you've worked there?
A. 
I don't really think the brand itself has changed so much, but I feel like we have gotten more clear about who we are and the brand.

Q. Many people might not know that Kowalski's, like many small business, manages marketing (as well as PR and media programs and a lot of printing) in-house. That must make for a wide range of responsibilities for you. Are there aspects of your role that you like more or less than others?
A. 
I love working with our stakeholders, learning from each other, building off all of our ideas and creativity and then seeing those things come alive in the stores. Everything we do works toward what we hope is a great end result.

Q. What do you suppose are some of the challenges of marketing grocery that are different than other types of retailers or other businesses?
A. 
Food is so special and so personal to people. It really appeals to all of our senses, in a way that other types of retail may not. So being able to have a positive effect on all of one's senses is important, and a lot of focus is put on that in our company.

Q. Is there a part of your job that is markedly more fun than others?
A.
I really like it all! Each thing brings its challenges, but that is the fun part – breaking through the challenges and creating things everyone loves!

Laurie fishingQ. What's your favorite food from Kowalski's?
A. 
I would have to say – if I had to choose just one thing – it would be our Signature Rotisserie Chicken from the Deli Department. They use Gerber's Amish Chicken with our Rotisserie Seasoning, and it is so delicious I could eat it almost every day!

Q. What are you most proud of in your department?
A. 
Everything! I work with great people and I love all the things we do and are part of.

Q. What kinds of dishes are your favorites to make at home?
A.
I actually really like baking (I kind of have a sweet tooth!). I really like making my grandmother's recipe for banana bread! It just reminds me of her and it makes me happy.

Q. If someone were to play you in a movie, who should it be?
A.
Reese Witherspoon.

Q. What's something few people know about you?
A. 
I love fishing and always out-fish my husband. (Of course, he says that’s because he has to drive the boat, bait my hook and take the fish off the hook, so he never has time to actually fish himself!)

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