Say Hello To Nick Kermes, Twinsburg Meat Associate
How long have you been with Heinen's?
It will be six years this July. I began at our Aurora store and then had the opportunity to move to the
Bainbridge store. I’ve also been part of the opening of our first two Chicago stores, Barrington and
Glenview. That was exciting. Now, I’m working at our Twinsburg store.
Have you always worked in the Meat Department?
Yes. It’s the perfect fit for me.
And why is that?
Well, it’s kind of funny. I don’t eat any fruit or vegetables. I’m a big meat eater—beef, chicken turkey,
pork, veal. I will have some potatoes and corn, but mostly it’s just meat. I guess I ate fruit and vegetables
when I was younger, but I just don’t eat them now.
Another funny thing. I don’t use condiments on meat. So for me, that means I want high quality cuts
that taste good on their own. I like to think I’ve developed a good palate for judging meats.
Do you cook?
Yes. I moved back home recently and really gotten into it lately. I’m cooking for my brothers, who are
three growing boys. We use the grill a lot. Cooking a good meal is my chance to get everyone gathered
around the table. I take pride in that fact and that I’m there to help out.
What kitchen tools are you always reaching for?
I keep things very simple. The first is the most special:
What’s one of the best parts of your job?
- My knife. I got it when I was 19 and was working at the Aurora store. Tom Tanner, a retiring
butcher, took me under his wing and made sure I knew how to do everything the right way.
- When he retired, he gave me his knife. That was very special. I took it home when it became
almost as thin as a toothpick from sharpening. I still use it there.
- Next, the spatula. It’s my best friend.
- A plain, old cooking thermometer. Not the electronic kind—just the real simple one.
- The grill. And I use charcoal, not propane. Love the flavor that comes from charcoal.
This might sound a weird, but I love cutting steaks, especially from the tenderloin. I take a lot of pride in
doing it exactly as it should be done. I want those steaks to be uniform and perfect, so that they’re
appealing to the eye. There’s some pressure in that, because I’m working with the most expensive cut
there is. I like that pressure. It’s not so much how quickly you work, it’s about the quality.
People can go anywhere to buy a steak or a burger. I want to make sure they get something exceptional.