Residents are looking forward to the new headed to town in 2012, almost as much as the store's new team leader.
Norm Shaughnessy, 50, recently took time to answer questions from Patch about his upcoming role at the market.
Laguna Niguel Patch: What is your background?
Norm Shaughnessy: I was born and raised in Southern California, and have resided in Orange County for the past 16 years. I love traveling with my wife all over California and beyond. Every few years, we find a way to go on an overseas adventure and on our most recent one, we hiked several volcanos in Southern Italy. I also enjoy camping, bicycling, reading a good book (particularly American history), painting, listening to just about any kind of music, anything at all to do with antique and classic automobiles, and working on and driving my 1966 GTO. Also, my wife is co-owner of a vegetarian restaurant in Costa Mesa and I enjoy spending time there when I can.
Laguna Niguel Patch: Were you working before in the food business?
Norm Shaughnessy: I have worked at Whole Foods Market for the past 24 years! And, while I have always had an interest in healthy eating and natural foods, I did initially begin my professional career working for my father’s company, which specializes in commercial and residential air conditioning, and heating equipment repair and installation.
Patch: What skills will you bring to WFM as store manager?
Shaughnessy: I bring a longtime love and passion for what Whole Foods Market does best—providing the best natural and organic foods available, and the fun and pleasure of sharing it with others. As the Store Team Leader for our Laguna Niguel store, as well as a long time resident of Orange County, I know what it takes to serve the community. I know the passion it takes to build a store full of team members who will do the same. For us, it's not just about the amazing food we offer and the magnitude of choices, it's also about the experience we provide to our customers. That comes with training and a dedication to creating a spirit of customer service.
Patch: Why did you apply to work at WFM?
Shaughnessy: I began shopping at Mrs. Gooch’s Natural Market back in the early 1980s. It was such a great place to shop, I always thought that it would be a great place to work, too. About that time, I decided to go to college full-time and look for a part-time job in a new field. Fortunately, I was hired at Mrs. Gooch’s in Hermosa Beach. It was, as I suspected, a great place to work. I found that I enjoyed it so much—the food, the customers, the team member interaction—that I never left. In 1993, Mrs. Gooch’s and Whole Foods Market came together and the opportunities for growth were plentiful. My original part–time position blossomed into a great career with Whole Foods Market.
Patch: What can Laguna Niguel residents expect from WFM when it finally opens?
Shaughnessy: I’m confident that they are going to love the store that we are building for them. One of our core values is embracing the communities we serve. Customers will be treated to a beautiful physical space that has a relaxing and inviting atmosphere. Combined with offering the very best natural foods in South Orange County and a great shopping experience, our Laguna Niguel store will be a real community hub—with lots of outdoor seating and plenty of space to hang out with family and friends—enjoying prepared foods that are healthy and delicious. And, lots of easy parking!
Patch: What is your favorite thing at WFM and why?
Shaughnessy: Definitely not an easy question. But if I had to narrow it down to what I’m currently enamored with, I’d have to say it’s our 'organic Japanese yams.' These honestly could be served as a dessert by themselves. They are incredibly nutritious, simple to prepare and unbelievably sweet. Just parboil a large one for 15 or 20 minutes, let it cool, cut into bite size pieces, season with salt and pepper (or whatever you prefer) and roast on a sheet pan at 450 degrees Farhenheit for 20 to 25 minutes.