Spotlight on: The Lakewinds Deli

Some nights, you’re just not in the mood to cook. Maybe you’re short on time before heading to a kid’s sports event. Or it’s a beautiful day, and you’d rather take a walk before dinner than spend time in the kitchen. Whatever the reason, when you need a meal (fast!) but want something made with care, the Lakewinds deli can be the perfect solution.

Scratch-made local deli

Maya Diedrich, deli category manager

The deli team makes food from scratch every day, dicing, chopping, sauteeing, and stirring. From fresh salads and sandwiches to pizza and salmon, there’s always a variety of delicious, flavorful mains, sides, dips, and desserts to fill in your meal plan.

Did you know that most grocer’s delis don’t actually make the food? Staff at those delis are merely putting prepackaged food into bowls or heating up the food so it looks freshly made.

Lakewinds deli staff prepare all of the deli offerings on location, from scratch,” explains Maya Diedrich, deli category manager. She’s the one who decides what recipes the teams will make each season, sources the ingredients the teams use, determines what specialty cheeses to sell, and more. “From chopping to roasting to boiling, it’s all done in-house. Being a ‘from scratch’ facility allows us to control exactly what ingredients we use. Our dishes are strictly free from preservatives, GMOs, artificial flavorings, and dyes. We’re also conscientious of sodium and refined sugar content, and opt for lower added sodium and use of alternative sugars.”

Menus change seasonally

Fresh Deli Salad with Dried Cranberries, Walnuts and Red Onions

One part of the job that Diedrich enjoys is deciding what will be on the deli menu throughout the year as the seasons change. She bases that on sales trends, what produce is in season, and more, while balancing out a need to have food that meets the needs of those with special diets and dietary preferences.

As the weather warms, she’s particularly looking forward to a favorite salad. “The classic combo of our scratch-made Caesar dressing with fresh, crisp romaine lettuce, Parmesan cheese, and our crunchy croutons is the perfect lunch,” she says. “When I’m in the mood for protein, I’ll top it with a piece of deli grilled salmon or baked tofu from the salad bar.”

She’s excited about new sandwiches and wraps debuting this summer, including a sweet and spicy tofu wrap on an organic Stacy’s tortilla, a vegetarian muffuletta, and a smoked turkey ciabatta with chipotle mayo.

But she has favorites year-round, including scratch-made soups, such as the coconut chicken curry soup in the fall and vegetarian chili in the winter.

It’s about food and connections

Kadejan Farmers Each Hold a White Chicken in the Field
The deli features Kadejan rotisserie chicken

Another thing Diedrich enjoys about her job is the people — her coworkers in the deli and the local, small businesses with whom she works. “Our deli departments work with several small-scale local venders, and over the years we’ve formed strong partnerships with them. Working with local vendors is beneficial in many ways, including reducing the environmental impact, having better inventory control, and strengthening the local food economy.”

That includes supporting local cheesemakers. “We have an amazing assortment of local cheeses. In addition to the economic and environmental benefits of buying local, they make it to our shelves at their peak of flavor.”

While Diedrich and the team love local cheeses, they also bring in national and international award-winning cheeses, with new varieties planned for the coming seasons.

Diedrich sees how customers rely on the local deli at Lakewinds for fresh, delicious food. One of her favorites hacks is a tip to know at the deli counter. “Let the staff know if you’d like your meat or cheese shaved or cut to specified thickness, a specific weight, or even a number of slices. While you wait for your items to be sliced, check out our deli cases. If you see an item that you would like to try, ask for a sample!”

As the weather becomes more agreeable, sometimes your schedule can get too busy to get out and enjoy it! Let the deli take some work off your plate (literally!), so you can stay nourished and ready to embrace all the season has to offer.

Get more tips for jam-packed schedules with ideas for using rotisserie chicken meals on busy nights, or peruse 10 deli hacks for easy summer meals.