25 BEST PLACES YOU'VE NEVER HEARD OF

How Lori Latta Got Her Awesome Job at Trader Joe's

Read our interview with a Trader Joe's sandwich maker

By , Tuesday, Aug 22, 2006, 3:22 PM

BT: How did you get your awesome job? 
  
 Lori:
After graduating from college, I became a pastry chef and was ultimately asked to work for Trader Joe's on a special project simplifying Trader Joe's sandwich making, which used to be done in each store. I never left. My job has evolved over the course of 25+ years to be what it is.

BT: What do you love most about your job? 
 
 Lori: I get to work in a medium that I love and have the freedom to be creative every day. Plus, I feel good about developing delicious, healthy, affordable food for customers. I really believe that what I do helps to improve the quality of peoples' lives in a small, and hopefully significant, way.

BT: What advice do you have for someone who wants to do what you do? 
 
 Lori: You have to be in the right place at the right time...honestly! Once you're in the door, you have to be passionate about whatever you are doing.

BT: What the worst job-related travel experience you've ever had? 
 
 Lori: I really haven't had any bad travel related experiences that I can recall other than eating some tainted smoked salmon in Paris just before I drove to the south of France. I was violently sick the whole way down and the trip took forever.

BT: How has your job changed the way you travel? 
 
 Lori: I'm not a very good tourist as a result of all of the business travel I do. And not for the reasons you might think. It's because I really love what I do and thoroughly enjoy hunting for new products and visiting with current suppliers. When I'm not on a business trip, I find myself interested in the same things I am for work. I go to outdoor markets and grocery stores to see what things are like in different countries. I might do a bit of sightseeing if there's something significant where I am, but that's often not the thrust of what I end up doing. If I'm not traveling for business, I am most likely lying on a beach somewhere.