LEIGH ANN HIERONYMUS
Leigh Ann’s love of food began at the family dinner table where she shared great meals with family and friends. One of her favorite memories was when her father had items such as ash-rolled goat cheeses, wines, sugar pears, and crates of artichokes sent to the house. She fondly remembers waiting with anticipation and excitement for these special arrivals.
During the summers while in high school, Leigh Ann earned money working at a small fruit stand which featured local produce. She later attended Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio where she graduated with a degree in Philosophy. During college, Leigh Ann spent a year in Greece where her love for Mediterranean food blossomed.
Leigh Ann began working with Fred Meyer in 1999. This popular regional retailer started in 1922 and now brings one-stop shopping (combining a full-service grocery store with complete selections of clothing, home goods, electronics and more) to 130 locations in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Fred Meyer is part of the Kroger Co., one of the nation’s largest retail grocery chains with nearly 2,500 stores in 31 states.
Leigh Ann developed a cooking tips and instructions program for Fred Meyer, which led to a television cooking segment that has run for 8 years and airs in several regional markets.
Leigh Ann’s work in the food arena has not been limited to her corporate role. She volunteers with many philanthropic groups.
Additionally, she is committed to giving back to the community and serving as a role model for youth, acting as a judge at the Oregon ProStart State High School Culinary Championship, Bite of Oregon Iron Chef competition and the taste of Tillamook event.
When not doing this work, Leigh Ann unwinds by... cooking and entertaining! “In my life, cooking serves as my therapy, a way to challenge myself, a comfort and an enjoyable source of bonding with my husband, family and friends,” says Leigh Ann. “I also consider myself fortunate to live in a very progressive food town: Portland. It’s a wonderful place to experience new food concepts.”
Leigh Ann’s advocacy for cooking and food carries throughout her work. The creator and host of “Fresh Ideas with Leigh Ann” television segment airing during the Oprah, Today Show and Ellen shows, provides tips to her audience on how to cook with flavorful, fresh ingredients. The popular segment was actually born as a result of the in-store cooking program, “Cook and Tell,” which she also developed at Fred Meyer. Additionally, Leigh Ann records ongoing radio for the chain that air throughout the regional marketplace educating the consumer and providing simple recipes that solve the age-old dilemma of what to make for dinner.
Educating others about the joy of food and wine is more than a job. Leigh Ann lives and embodies it. Just as her family taught her as a young girl, she enjoys being home, preparing, and sharing food with family and friends.