If you go looking for a supplement or vitamin at Bloomingfoods East, Melissa Hunsberger can help you find what you’re looking for. Hunsberger, who has been working at the store for a year and a half, is studying nutrition at Indiana University with plans to become a registered dietician one day. Laura Gleason caught up with her to ask a few questions.
How did you start working at Bloomingfoods?
My friend Matt, who works in beer and wine, told me that they were hiring in wellness and I knew it would be a good fit because I’m studying nutrition.
What do you like about your job?
I really enjoy having an opportunity to talk about the things I’m learning about in school with the customers. I’ll learn some new fun fact about a vitamin or mineral in class and get to turn it around for a customer who’s looking for a vitamin.
Do those opportunities come up a lot?
It happens all the time. As I’ve worked there over the course of the last year and a half I’ve gained a lot more knowledge about the things that we’re selling so I don’t have to run back and look up everything… I feel like I can more confidently assist them.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
Sometimes it’s hard to find a balance between school, working a lot, and all my other responsibilities and activities, but—what are you going to do?
What kinds of activities?
I really like to be outdoors, running, bike riding, climbing… basically anything that happens outside in the sunshine I would like to do, I’ll always say yes when asked.
Is there anything special about working at a co-op compared with a traditional business?
Most of the jobs I’ve had have not been at co-ops, but they have had the cooperative spirit. I’ve been fortunate in that regard to work for some really great people. At Bloomingfoods, I like the community spirit, I feel like the people who work there really help each other out.
It’s not super-competitive, like it might be in certain workplaces. You want each other do well, and to feel well, and to be well.
What is your favorite Bloomingfoods product?
Derma E Microdermabrasion scrub and Simple Soapworks soaps—they’re really moisturizing and rich. Red Clover is my favorite... it smells soooo good.
Is there anything you wish your customers were more aware of?
There is no such thing as a miracle cure or a miracle pill—if they hear somebody talking about a miracle cure, that person is probably trying to mislead them. There is generally, in society at large, a lot of language about miracle cures and breakthroughs, but real true breakthroughs come once a generation. For the most part you have to make informed decisions and try a lot of different things until you find something that works for you.
What is the next step for you after getting your degree?
There are a lot of different directions you can take as a registered dietician, but I really like working with people one-on-one to help them transform their lives.