When Tom McCombs started working at the Fairview Heights, Illinois, Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, he fell in love with the grocery business all over again. Tom began his career in grocery at age 17 and later worked as a produce manager for 13 years. He has a passion for produce, and one look at his eye- catching store displays proves just that. A true people person, Tom says getting to know shoppers is second nature. “I don’t know a stranger,” he jokes. Tom lends a personal touch to customer service and especially enjoys helping parents with young kids who are navigating the store. Those who are new to Fresh Thyme Farmers Market “can’t believe the wide selection of fresh, high-quality produce at such great prices—especially the organics,” he says. Tom appreciates his coworkers. “You’re only as successful as the people you’re with. We all get along and help each other. It takes the work out of things and creates a great atmosphere.” Away from work, Tom likes watching movies and traveling. He enjoys seeing new sites across the U.S. and sampling food along the way. “Building displays is like being an artist with a blank canvas. We try to make things colorful and beautiful for our customers.” —Tom McCombs, Produce Dept. TOM MCCOMBS meet Location: Fairview Heights, IL K e r ry Clifford, MS, RD, L D N G ET SO CIA L WITH U S Visit freshthyme.com for exclusive deals, coupons, and recipes. Activate your free MyThyme Fresh Rewards and start saving in seconds! Follow us on Facebook, and share new favorites on Instagram and Twitter (#FreshThymeFinds). M eghan Sedivy, RD, LDN Photo Credit: John Ridgeway M & K: Here are our top three ingredients for consumers to avoid. 1. Hydrogenated oils These are man-made oils that are cost- effective and used to preserve some shelf-stable food items. They have been linked with increasing LDL cholesterol and inflammation. 2.ArtificialcolorsThey’reusedto boostthelookoffoodsandarecommon inprocessedfoods.Limitintake,and eatmore“clean”itemssuchasproduce, meats,andwholegrains. 3. High-fructose corn syrup Glucose (sugar) from corn is made into corn syrup. Some of the glucose is converted to fructose (another sugar), making the syrup taste much sweeter. It is used in products to extend shelf life and add sweetness. It’s technically regarded as safe but is associated with many conditions. Go to the Fresh Thyme Farmers Market page on Facebook and submit your question! Have a nutrition question Ask the dietitians Julie from Chicago asks: “What are the top three ingredients on food labels that consumers NEED to stay away from?” g freshthyme.com | September/October 2018 3 CV2-003 TOC_Ed Letter.indd 3 8/13/18 9:46 AM