Face-to-Face: Jennifer Romano July 2019

Ever wonder if anyone else is facing the same professional challenges as you? Or just looking to connect with some new people in your field? In IFT's Face-to-Face series, we will be introducing you to a different IFT member every month with a fun, insightful Q&A session.

This month meet...

Jennifer RomanoJennifer Romano, commercial director, Bontoux Organics

  1. How did you get your start in the food industry?
    I had a friend of a friend knew someone looking for, of all things, an accountant. I landed that job and have never looked back. I had some of the very best mentors who helped develop all the qualities that have propelled me to where I am today.

  2. What do you love about your job?
    I love that it changes all the time—no two customers are alike, and their needs are all very different. It keeps my job challenging.

  3. What is the biggest challenge that you face in your job?
    Regulatory demands. The industry has changed so much over the past 12 years and regulatory demands are at an all-time high. Keeping up with the constant changes is challenging for sure. I don’t see this abating any time soon, so making sure I am up-to-date on what our customers need and the challenges they face is a priority.

  4. What have you learned or been exposed to in the past 12 months that has helped you in your job?
    We are introducing a new line of products at Bontoux and having the opportunity to work with something I never have before is incredible—and working with people who are willing to share their talents and expertise with you has fostered a wonderful sense of community that I am so proud to be a part of. Fostering the sense of community and mentorship within our organization helps me to purposefully take time to share my knowledge where I can.

  5. How do you see the food industry evolving over the coming year?
    Millennials and Gen Z are changing the way we look at food—whether it is a more diverse palate, portability, or a demand of natural, organic, and clean labels—we will continue to see the new and unexpected in the future.

  6. Fun Fact: What’s your favorite food?
    It’s actually a tie. I love a grilled cheese sandwich with sliced dill pickles—the sour of the pickle is the perfect foil to the creamy, melty cheese. My other favorite is Chef Humberto Campos’ apricot bread pudding at Lorena’s. It’s available for a very short time each year when the apricots are perfect. I am obsessed with his apricot bread pudding—it’s sweet, tart, and creamy. I can’t get enough!

  7. IFT has five core values that help us achieve our mission. They are: Community, Integrity, Passion, Progress, and Respect. Which value do you feel is the most critical to succeeding in your role?
    Integrity is top priority. This is a core value at Bontoux as well. Integrity speaks to the quality of our products and the character of every one of our team members.

If you are an IFT member and wish to be profiled, please contact Kelly Hensel at khensel@ift.org or 312-604-0211.