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Meat

Say Hello To Angel Lauria, Aurora Meat Manager

How long have you been with Heinen's?
I’ve been with Heinen’s for a little over five and a half years now. But I started working in meats when I was 15.

So tell us about that first job you say was “way back when.”
I worked in a mom and pop shop for 18 years. It was a neighborhood store and a lot of the kids in the neighborhood worked there. For some reason, I just knew I wanted to work in meats. It was a small niche, a really nice atmosphere and we all grew up together. We really worked together as a team, so it gave me a good base. The feeling was a lot like working at Heinen’s, just on a smaller scale.

What items do you like to introduce customers to?
We offer two new items in our meat department, Quinoa and Sweet Potato Stuffing and our Ancho Kale Stuffing. These two items offer our customers an alternative to our traditional crouton or cornbread stuffing (although that’s awesome too!). My favorites are our Butternut or Acorn Squash stuffed with Ancho Kale or Quinoa and Sweet Potato Stuffing, they are pre-steamed for fast and easy cooking. 15 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees and you have a delicious meal or side dish, healthy too!

But the main thing I want customers to know is that Heinen’s really cares about everything that they offer. They choose quality. When I sell something, I absolutely must believe in it. I can tell you as the meat manager that Heinen’s definitely chooses quality meats.

What question are you asked most by customers?
You know what I’ve seen change through the years? Meat used to be pretty straightforward. You served it with potatoes. Now, customers are interested in learning new ways to cook things. They ask about different suggestions, new preparations, and new seasonings. People get a lot of ideas from social media and then they want to make it.

One thing I always emphasize is how important it is to get the internal temperature right—so that the meat will be done, but not overdone. That’s so important. And I also think you only need a little bit of seasoning, because the meats are so good. Our Two Brothers Seasoning is just great—it doesn’t overdo things.

Do you cook at home?
I do. I never did used to like to cook. I don’t think I was very good at it but I have gotten pretty good at it. I get lots of suggestions from people I work with, and the Heinen’s recipes really help me, too.

So name some ingredients we’d always find your kitchen.
  • I love my produce—my Boston lettuce and my red leaf lettuce. Love them mixed together in a salad.
  • Onions—always, always. Use them in every recipe I make.
  • Always have ground meat on hand—you can make so many different dishes with it
  • And fresh garlic….yep, that’s always on hand
  • And olive oil. I’m Italian, so of course I have that!

Finally, what are your favorite kitchen tools?
I love my salad spinner. It makes such easy work out of cleaning lettuce. And my grilling rack—it works great with our flat chicken. And always—a sharp, sharp knife. That’s the most important!

HEINEN'S

We're Heinen's Grocery Stores, a Cleveland, OH based family-owned grocery store established in 1929. Focused on quality meats, fresh market produce and superior customer service, we make grocery shopping something to smile about.