The Lemon Tree Team
At Lemon Tree Grocer, we collectively have decades of experience in the culinary world. We’re passionate about food and are here to help–whether you’re looking for locally sourced fresh produce, the perfect wine pairing, healthy meals for kids, a choice cut of meat or artisanal cheeses from around the world. We want to do more for you than simply bag your groceries. Get acquainted with our team. Also, see what we’ve been doing lately on our blog or feel free to talk to us now.
Tim Canning attained his B.A. in Culinary Arts from Kendall College right here in Chicago. Canning quickly got his start under the watchful guidance of Chef Steven Chiapetti at the renowned Chicago restaurants Mango, Rhapsody, and Mossant Bistro. He then traveled west and honed his skills within the fine dining restaurants of Vancouver and San Diego. Mr. Canning then moved to the opposite coast to open Arbor, a local bistro in Boston, as Chef de Cuisine. During Tim’s seven year span in Boston he worked as Sous Chef under Chef Tony Maws (Best Chef Boston Magazine 07′,08′,09′) at Craigie Street Bistro (Food and Wine “Top Ten Places to Eat Meat in the World”) and also cooked with Michael Leviton at his accomplished restaurants Lumiere and Persephone. Tim Canning has worked hand in hand with local farmers, fish mongers, and meat distributors during his career as chef. In January, Tim moved back to his native home of Chicago with dreams of opening a locally driven fresh produce market. Tim and his business partner Shaun Black were mentored by the industries leading minds in developing the Lemon Tree concept. Canning is the creative mind behind the Lemon Tree’s kitchen as well as running the day to day of the store.
Shaun Black is from the Detroit area and earned his B.A. in Advertising from Michigan State University. Following graduation he joined C.H. Robinson Worldwide, one of the largest transportation and logistics organizations in the world working in produce brokerage. While becoming the top sales associate in the Detroit office, he learned the ins and outs of 21st century produce handling. However, Shaun is a true entrepreneur, always wanting to have his own businesses. His enthusiasm and passion to do things right have left him with strong ideas about how business should be run in order to best serve his customers. Taking the expertise gained at C.H. Robinson, he moved to Chicago and opened the business he runs today, the International Produce Exchange which also serves as the Chicago office of Sunterra, a national produce brokerage firm. Shaun has been incubating the concept of a small specialty grocery for a few years after a good friend brought the concept his way. After searching for just the right location, he and Tim Canning have joined forces with the beautiful community of Downers Grove to make the Lemon Tree Grocer a reality.
As the Head Cashier/Manager at Lemon Tree Grocer I am happy to be the person to greet each customer with a smile, and offer them assistance and suggestions. I have been with Lemon Tree since day one and have gotten to know so many of our guests by name that it is a joy to come to work. I look forward to giving the best customer service possible for our “new friends”that come to shop or meet in the cafe for coffee or lunch.
My first cashier position was for McDonald’s. I moved on to working as a New Accounts Clerk for a bank. By the time I was 20 I was Secretary to the Controller at Official Airline Guides in Oak Brook. After getting married and having a family, I took a new career path and started working in the food industry. My past experience as a head cashier for Marriott for 5 years and 10 years working at RockBottom give me the knowledge of giving the best customer service to all the guests. I was a Girl Scout Leader and Assistant Religion Teacher. When I am not at Lemon Tree, I also work as a Caregiver for Seniors. I grew up in Darien and then moved to Naperville where I raised my two daughters and reside now.
At Lemon Tree you get that old time “small grocer” feeling that you will get the best quality of meat, bakery, produce, deli selections and wine. I am glad to be a part of such a wonderful store. So many guests have said, “I just love this store and we are so glad Lemon Tree is here in Downers Grove”.
Deanna has been in the restaurant and Customer Service field for over 30 years, and has been a team member at Zest Bistro and Lemon Tree for almost two years. Ms. Anatra has worked for such Chicago stalwarts as Carlucci, Francesca’s Restaurants and Chinn’s 34, and also worked as a General Manager for Mario Tricocci and as a Wine Consultant for Sam’s Wine and Spirits.
She is truly passionate about food, wine and great customer service, and she believes in treating each and every customer as if they were guests in her home.
Her theory of “You can never learn too much” has given her the opportunity to attend numerous business and customer service related seminars, as well as work within several departments at Lemon Tree Grocer.
When not working in Zest, Ms. Anatra fills her time indulging her love of Charcoal Portraiture, as well as creating new fonts for her Handwriting and Calligraphy business. And talking about bacon.
Mike has a heart for art & communication with a bachelors degree in Advertising graphic design from Columbia College. Born & raised in the suburbs of Chicago he has designed for big clients such as The Chicago Bulls & CTA to start-up businesses around the US. Don’t be fooled by his boyish good looks because this guy has years of creative knowledge.
He started as a server in our Zest cafe and fell in love with Lemon Tree’s motto; We’re more than your neighborhood grocer, we’re your neighbors. “I value the way the employees interact with customers. You can see their true dedication, knowledge and customer care.”
Lemon Tree values Mike because he is like a box of chocolates. You never know what he’ll surprise you with next. When he’s not one on one with his laptop being a creative genius you’ll see him at dinner in Zest for a glass of white wine, calamari & the honey mustard encrusted salmon, his favorite dish.
A native of the very foodie Ann Arbor, Michigan and daughter of a certifiably foodie, restaurant managing mother, Cameron grew up in a culture of great food and even better service. While working her way through engineering school, Cameron immersed herself in the gourmet food culture and industry of Ann Arbor, working jobs ranging from server to barista to fish monger. Each of these jobs reinforced her love for attention to detail and her belief in the importance of finding true joy in those things you choose to do.
Cameron has enjoyed very nearly every job she has held in one way or another, but the blend of science and art combined with the need for neurotic consistency and tolerance for occasionally infuriating variation she has found in being a barista has drawn her back again and again. She brings to Zest her somewhat baffling ability to be perky at absurdly early hours, her love for making delicious coffee and espresso, a wealth of knowledge of coffee and tea varieties, brewing, and extraction methods, and an obsession with list-making and follow-through that just might keep you in delicious drinks all year long.
When not working or studying to become a Nurse Midwife, Cameron loves knitting socks for those with cold toes, cooking delicious and nourishing food for her partner and family, and keeping it simple. Come visit her most mornings for a cup o’ joe (or something fancier), some conversation about what’s on NPR silly early in the morning, and a good ol’ homegrown Midwestern ear-to-ear smile.
Derek is a recent addition to the management team here at LTG. Born and raised in south suburban Chicago Heights, Derek is a recent Downers Grove transplant from the big city. Chicago that is. Derek received a BA from Missouri State University several moons ago. He spent many years in the non-profit management sector before resting in the hospitality industry. If you need a Korean lesson he can help with that. He spent several years teaching English in South Korea. Don’t tell anyone but he did some modeling there also.
Derek brings a vast understanding of the restaurant world to LTG. He has managed at one of Chicago’s largest and high profile restaurants as well as small start ups. His efforts have recently been recognized by Chicago Magazine in their annual 2012 ‘Best of’ issue.
Likes: long walks on the beach, hand sanitizer, word search puzzles, FOOD, Irish whiskey, Rock & Roll
Dislikes: frowns, potholes, that ink stain on his favorite pair of jeans(sigh), bad lighting, terrible music in a restaurant
Zodiac sign: Scorpio
Chris has been working in the restaurant industry since graduating high school. His passion for food led him to Moondance Diner in Burr Ridge where he started his career in food service. After leaving the diner, Chris served at various other restaurants in the Western Suburbs, while studying Culinary Arts at the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago. He has worked in such kitchens as Events by Tommy R, Macys on State Street and Naha. After graduating with his degree in hospitality management, he pursued his long term dream of running a restaurant. He and his business partner took over and ran a pizza joint, Slice, in Naperville. While there he strengthened his managerial identity and business sense. Chris then moved on to fill the General Management position at Klay Oven. Under his direction, a third flagship restaurant, Klay Oven Kitchen, was successfully opened.
Now that Chris is part of the team here at Zest, he plans to bring even more structure, teamwork and his industry knowledge to the front of the house. When Chris is not at Zest talking to guests and motivating his staff, you can probably spot him zooming around on his bright yellow scooter, accurately named Chopper.