Check Out this Interview with SQ1′s April Superfriend – Lemon Tree Grocer

April 22, 2011 at 3:43 pm Leave a comment


Each Month, we’re putting a Spotlight on a Superfriend! Lemon Tree Grocer offers the highest quality produce, wine, meats and cheeses. They can help you find fresh, locally sourced food, accommodate gluten free diets, or make your event unique with gourmet catering. To fully experience the Lemon Tree Grocer, just head on over.

Located at:
5101 Mochel Drive
Downers Grove, IL 60515
P 630.969.YUMY

Owners, Shaun and Tim have worked to make grocery shopping an adventure, rather than a chore.  There’s plenty of fresh, locally sourced food, and they can even accommodate gluten-free diets.  Be sure to stop by the freezer section to pick up Square One® Organics!

Joseph Lessard offers a unique perspective for the Lemon Tree Grocer. After receiving a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Illinois he went on to graduate from Kendall College with an associates in the Culinary Arts. After writing software for a financial trading firm in Chicago, Joseph decided to pursue his true passion: food. Soon after he was working at Follia in Chicago and quickly worked his way up to be the Sous-Chef. He most recently was a part of the opening team at Perennial where he worked under Chef Ryan Poli as well as Chef Giuseppe Tentori. An Eagle Scout, Joseph learned leadership skills at an early age and is always prepared for the challenges that the food industry offers. He looks forward to offering the highest quality service and products to the Lemon Tree Grocer customers.

We were thrilled to sit down with Lemon Tree Grocer’s Chef and Kitchen Manager, Joseph Lessard to get an exclusive SQ 1 interview. We asked Joseph some fun questions about himself; see his answers below!

Q:  Joe, tell us a little bit about how and why did you came to your current position at Lemon Tree Grocer?
A:  I first learned about Lemon Tree Grocer while browsing online.  The concept intrigued me so I was eager to see the store and see how I could get involved.  Finding that I shared a vision with the owners (Chef Tim Canning and Shaun Black) was a revelation; we wanted to provide the highest quality food and service to the community of Downers Grove.  I am fortunate enough to be able to do that on a daily basis.

Q:  How has working with Lemon Tree Grocer impacted your life and what about your job brings you the most joy?
A:  Running the kitchen at Lemon Tree Grocer has really been a life changing experience.  Having been on board since day one, I feel that the store is my second home.  We have a fantastic staff here and I have grown to think of them as family and friends.  This feeling of family is what has made LTG such a special place.  Watching the store grow and evolve into what it is today and then being able to share it with our customers is what brings me the most joy.

Q:  What gets you through juggling your family life and work with Lemon Tree Grocer?
A:  I’m not going to lie, it is hard to juggle the commitment of running a kitchen with family life.  My wife and I have different schedules (in different industries as well) so it is hard to find time to reconnect.  However, we are fortunate enough to share a passion for food which gives us common ground when we do have time together.

Q:  What was your life like pre-parenthood?
A:  I do not have any children.  However, I can only imagine how difficult it would be to combine the level of commitment and responsibility of being a chef with that of being a father.  Many of my peers in the industry have found a balance between parenthood and work and I admire them for it.  Someday I hope to rise to that challenge as well.

Q:  If there was a movie about your life what would it be called?
A:  It would be a moving piece about a big city computer programmer who found his true calling as a chef in a smaller community.
“Second Time Is The Charm”
And maybe he can be a secret agent and wear a tuxedo too…

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