Five Questions for Mark Williams, Wedge Assistant Produce Manager

Q: How did you get your start at the Wedge, and how has your position evolved over the years?

A: The year was 1998. I was working part-time by night and living the glamorous life of a beach bum by day. I made the mistake of buying a new car and soon realized I couldn’t afford it. Luckily I saw an ad in the paper for a produce worker at the Wedge. I answered it and got hired the same day as my interview. I had years of produce experience but not much of an organic background. I learned quickly and, over the years, went from produce worker to P.M. shift lead and then to Assistant Produce Manager.

Q: It has been said that the Wedge has the best produce in town, what makes it the best?

A: What makes the produce the best is all the people involved. The farmers have a passion for what they do; it shows in the way they farm and what they grow. Then there are the buyers. They have longstanding relationships with some of the best growers. Finally, there is the integrity of the Produce staff. We take care to properly prep, display and take care of produce to bring the best produce we can to the customers.

Q: The Wedge has such strong relationships with farmers that you have grower meetings each winter before the growing season. What are they and why are they important?

A: In a nut shell, the grower meetings tell us what went right, what went wrong and what to change to make things better. They are for brainstorming and problem solving. There is discussion of what will be grown, and forecasts of how much we think will sell. Pricing is also discussed. They are important to make sure we continue to provide an ample supply of quality product to our customers.

Q: What farm have you enjoyed watching grow and evolve the most over your years?

A: I’ve seen farms come and go over the years. Many change as they grow, move to new fields or even change hands to the next generation of farmers. I love all the farms and consider them family. If I had to choose my favorite I would pick Breezy Hill. I am the local apple buyer and have enjoyed the close relationship I have developed with them over the years.

Q: You often dress in elaborate handmade costumes for your Facebook videos. What is the inspiration behind your costumes?

A: The inspiration behind my costumes is the holidays. They started with Halloween, my favorite holiday. So many choices, it was a no-brainer. Customers seemed to like it so I just started dressing up for other holidays. I try to pick some cliché aspect of the holiday and then exaggerate it into a costume. I like to make an enjoyable and entertaining shopping experience for customers. Their smiles make me smile.

Q: You are an open book, but what’s something most customers don’t know about you?

A: For the past eight years, I have been working on a one-inch-equals-six-inches scale model of the “I Love Lucy” apartment.

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