Since 1938, Heidelberg Distributing has relied on its Associates to make our company great. We’ll spotlight some of the hardworking men and women who not only excel in their everyday jobs but also go above-and-beyond in exemplifying Heidelberg’s core values.
Jim Mook – Youngstown Sales Professional
For Youngstown Sales Professional Jim Mook, good food and good drink are his “passion.” Valedictorian of his class at the Cordon Bleu Culinary School in Pittsburgh, he spent 10 years as an executive chef before going to work for Heidelberg retail partner Giant Eagle running their gourmet chef program before eventually working for the company as a wine steward.
Jim joined the Heidelberg family two and a half years ago, with his recruiting pitch coming from the same professionals he now works with. “As a wine steward I was interacting with the same people that I now have as my colleagues,” says Jim. “My wife and I wanted to start a family but it would have been difficult balancing everything working those 18 to 20 hour days. Heidelberg was gracious enough to give me an opportunity.”
When Jim calls on an account, his culinary background and passion for food and drink take over, giving him an advantage that not everyone has. “It’s having the confidence that you know what you’re talking about. It’s not a sales pitch,” Jim says. “ For me, it’s a passion pitch. When you’re able to connect with people about pairing food and drink, you’re speaking the same language. You wouldn’t believe how long the conversations go.”
Over time, as Jim describes it, his hobby (the love of beverages) and his career (the culinary arts) have switched and that’s just fine with him. He is finding plenty of enjoyment working with his retail partners and sharing his love of food and drink with the Youngstown area, one account and one person at a time.
“When you truly pair the right beverage with the right food, it truly enhances the meal.” Says Jim. “Especially when you find an unusual pairing. It’s exciting and fun and there is really no wrong way to do it. It’s all about enjoyment, that’s really the whole point.”
Away from work, he enjoys barbecuing. It’s what he calls his “true passion.” Jim and his wife Heather been together for over 20 years and have been married for eight. The couple has a four-year-old daughter, Laurel, who just like her dad also has a love of cooking. “She keeps telling me that she wants to open a restaurant with me,” Jim says. “That would be amazing!”