Our People

Meet the team dedicated to helping you cook healthful meals at home.

Sandy Blvd. Market Manager

Erin Leiker hails from Kansas City, where she lived until 2003. She fell in love with the natural landscapes and bounty that the Pacific Northwest has to offer 15 years ago, and has called Portland home ever since. Erin has found her professional home in the local grocery community, where she has the opportunity to invest in her life passions – getting to explore the diversity of culture and people by learning about different ingredients and cooking techniques. This strengthens her ability to guide customers’ approach to food and creates an authentic dialogue to explore, educate, and learn from their experiences. In her free time, Erin likes to express herself through music and cooking, which she shares with friends and loved ones. Two of her favorite cuisines are Asian and Middle Eastern fare. When you get a chance, make sure to say hi and share your food experiences with Erin!

Sandy Blvd. Market Manager

Erin Leiker hails from Kansas City, where she lived until 2003. She fell in love with the natural landscapes and bounty that the Pacific Northwest has to offer 15 years ago, and has called Portland home ever since. Erin has found her professional home in the local grocery community, where she has the opportunity to invest in her life passions – getting to explore the diversity of culture and people by learning about different ingredients and cooking techniques. This strengthens her ability to guide customers’ approach to food and creates an authentic dialogue to explore, educate, and learn from their experiences. In her free time, Erin likes to express herself through music and cooking, which she shares with friends and loved ones. Two of her favorite cuisines are Asian and Middle Eastern fare. When you get a chance, make sure to say hi and share your food experiences with Erin!

Hillsdale Market Manager

Born and raised in Portland, Lateefa Hoover has extensive experience in the grocery business. She enjoys building community, meeting people, sharing her knowledge and is passionate about ensuring that everyone has access to good, local food at a reasonable price.
Lateefa has a love for everything outdoors – her favorite activities are playing basketball with her son, hiking and swimming. She’s drawn to Middle Eastern and Latin cuisines and loves to cook. Favorite ingredients are hot sauce and peppers which go perfectly with one of her favorite foods, tacos. Stop by the market for a warm welcome from Lateefa and team.

Hillsdale Market Manager

Born and raised in Portland, Lateefa Hoover has extensive experience in the grocery business. She enjoys building community, meeting people, sharing her knowledge and is passionate about ensuring that everyone has access to good, local food at a reasonable price.
Lateefa has a love for everything outdoors – her favorite activities are playing basketball with her son, hiking and swimming. She’s drawn to Middle Eastern and Latin cuisines and loves to cook. Favorite ingredients are hot sauce and peppers which go perfectly with one of her favorite foods, tacos. Stop by the market for a warm welcome from Lateefa and team.

Tualatin Market Manager

With almost 20 years in the natural grocery industry, Dave Finnell loves developing strong teams and helping to create a fun place to shop and work. Born and raised in Portland, some of his earliest food memories are of Sunday meals at his Grandparents’ home: old family recipes, cousins and lots of noise and laughter. He loves anything with garlic (and more garlic) and almost any cheese.  In his spare time he loves to be outside cycling, hiking, skiing or just working in the yard.  Stop by and say Hi to Dave, he looks forward to welcoming you!

Tualatin Market Manager

With almost 20 years in the natural grocery industry, Dave Finnell loves developing strong teams and helping to create a fun place to shop and work. Born and raised in Portland, some of his earliest food memories are of Sunday meals at his Grandparents’ home: old family recipes, cousins and lots of noise and laughter. He loves anything with garlic (and more garlic) and almost any cheese.  In his spare time he loves to be outside cycling, hiking, skiing or just working in the yard.  Stop by and say Hi to Dave, he looks forward to welcoming you!

Meat Market Manager

Nathan Ball has lived in the Pacific Northwest for 28 years. He grew up outside Bellingham, WA surrounded by sustainable fisheries, local ranches, farms and dairies and later moved to Portland, OR. His passion for food production started at a young age – when he was just 9 he would help his mother make herbal-infused vinegars, which he loved to drink! Nathan has been working in the natural meat industry for over 12 years.  He’s done on-site butchery at farms, and gained valuable knowledge from hands-on experience in the industry and working directly with some of the best meat professionals in Portland. At Basics, he loves to share his in-depth knowledge of meat cuts, cooking tips and favorite recipes. At home, Nathan enjoys cooking with his lovely wife and teaching his boys the beginning lessons of cooking and processing meat. His favorite dishes to cook are tacos and blackened steelhead with his homemade spice mix and a remoulade sauce made with his very own fermented pickles.

Meat Market Manager

Nathan Ball has lived in the Pacific Northwest for 28 years. He grew up outside Bellingham, WA surrounded by sustainable fisheries, local ranches, farms and dairies and later moved to Portland, OR. His passion for food production started at a young age – when he was just 9 he would help his mother make herbal-infused vinegars, which he loved to drink! Nathan has been working in the natural meat industry for over 12 years.  He’s done on-site butchery at farms, and gained valuable knowledge from hands-on experience in the industry and working directly with some of the best meat professionals in Portland. At Basics, he loves to share his in-depth knowledge of meat cuts, cooking tips and favorite recipes. At home, Nathan enjoys cooking with his lovely wife and teaching his boys the beginning lessons of cooking and processing meat. His favorite dishes to cook are tacos and blackened steelhead with his homemade spice mix and a remoulade sauce made with his very own fermented pickles.

Director of Nutrition

Growing up on her family’s Oklahoma farm, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Lindsay Brown became inspired by food and how it could be used to enhance health. Motivated to feed this interest and the desire to help others, she earned a master’s degree in nutritional science and dietetics and went on to work in the medical field and then in collegiate athletics educating athletes how to tap into nutrition to maximize performance. At Basics, she’s building a nutrition program to teach people how to nourish themselves, designing classes that nurture those with common health issues and teach the power of nutrition as preventative medicine.

Director of Nutrition

Growing up on her family’s Oklahoma farm, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Lindsay Brown became inspired by food and how it could be used to enhance health. Motivated to feed this interest and the desire to help others, she earned a master’s degree in nutritional science and dietetics and went on to work in the medical field and then in collegiate athletics educating athletes how to tap into nutrition to maximize performance. At Basics, she’s building a nutrition program to teach people how to nourish themselves, designing classes that nurture those with common health issues and teach the power of nutrition as preventative medicine.

Director of Research & Child Nutrition

With a PhD in Nutritional Biology, Juliana Donahue is a nutritional epidemiologist with over a decade of experience working with biomedical nutrition, food systems, global health, and maternal and child health. She grew up in a small town outside of San Francisco and is from a huge family of eleven children!  Juliana lends her expertise to curriculum and program development, and monitors and evaluates our nutrition programming. She also works with healthcare organizations to build collaborations in programming and research. Outside of work, rock climbing, drums and guitar,  photography, and travel are among her passions.  She loves discovering new recipes and tweaking them to be healthier. Blueberries and macaroni and cheese top her list of favorite foods.

Director of Research & Child Nutrition

With a PhD in Nutritional Biology, Juliana Donahue is a nutritional epidemiologist with over a decade of experience working with biomedical nutrition, food systems, global health, and maternal and child health. She grew up in a small town outside of San Francisco and is from a huge family of eleven children!  Juliana lends her expertise to curriculum and program development, and monitors and evaluates our nutrition programming. She also works with healthcare organizations to build collaborations in programming and research. Outside of work, rock climbing, drums and guitar,  photography, and travel are among her passions.  She loves discovering new recipes and tweaking them to be healthier. Blueberries and macaroni and cheese top her list of favorite foods.

Nutrition Education Coordinator

After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition Science and Dietetics, Christi Reed found her niche at her local natural foods store. With nearly 20 years of experience in the industry, she has spent the last 15 leading grocery store tours, teaching nutrition classes and helping shoppers find foods and recipes to meet their nutrition goals. Christi finds joy in feeding people and especially loves offering solutions to those with restricted diets. Her latest food related hobby is growing her own backyard garden.

Nutrition Education Coordinator

After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition Science and Dietetics, Christi Reed found her niche at her local natural foods store. With nearly 20 years of experience in the industry, she has spent the last 15 leading grocery store tours, teaching nutrition classes and helping shoppers find foods and recipes to meet their nutrition goals. Christi finds joy in feeding people and especially loves offering solutions to those with restricted diets. Her latest food related hobby is growing her own backyard garden.

Nutrition Mentor

Frequently attending food festivals where her parents cooked, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Kayla Petersen loved food and cooking from a young age. Her passion grew through the years, and she was inspired to study nutrition as a way to use those skills to benefit others’ health. At Basics, Kayla is excited to continue building on her experience in retail nutrition education, because she feels the best place to teach people about food is where they shop. Her goal is that clients leave class with increased confidence in their ability to plan and prepare nutrient-dense meals, and even come up with their own recipe substitutions when they find they’ve run out of an ingredient.

Nutrition Mentor

Frequently attending food festivals where her parents cooked, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Kayla Petersen loved food and cooking from a young age. Her passion grew through the years, and she was inspired to study nutrition as a way to use those skills to benefit others’ health. At Basics, Kayla is excited to continue building on her experience in retail nutrition education, because she feels the best place to teach people about food is where they shop. Her goal is that clients leave class with increased confidence in their ability to plan and prepare nutrient-dense meals, and even come up with their own recipe substitutions when they find they’ve run out of an ingredient.

Culinary Mentor

Growing up around large gardens and small farms, Sam Maggi explores world cuisines through inspired use of home-grown produce. His ongoing involvement in a local community garden has fostered a keen appreciation for the NW’s bounty and he appreciates the relationships he’s forged with fellow gardeners while wrestling tomato cages, swapping recipes, and sharing successful growing techniques. Formerly a chef at Oregon Health and Sciences University, his menus emphasize good health and nutrition through food. Sam believes that fresh food always tastes better, and knowing where the ingredients are sourced adds value.

Culinary Mentor

Growing up around large gardens and small farms, Sam Maggi explores world cuisines through inspired use of home-grown produce. His ongoing involvement in a local community garden has fostered a keen appreciation for the NW’s bounty and he appreciates the relationships he’s forged with fellow gardeners while wrestling tomato cages, swapping recipes, and sharing successful growing techniques. Formerly a chef at Oregon Health and Sciences University, his menus emphasize good health and nutrition through food. Sam believes that fresh food always tastes better, and knowing where the ingredients are sourced adds value.

Culinary Mentor

Originally from Athens, Greece, Chef Bourgidu brings a wealth of experience as restauranteur to the culinary team. He  believes “good” food  can be light and simple, “One can make a great dish with a bit of technique and five ingredients!” Alex was mentored by Rocky Maseli of Eugene’s Osteria Sfizio, an Italian eatery specializing in hand-made pastas. He has donned a toque at celebrated Portland restaurants Ned Ludd and Luce. He ascribes to the tenets of Slow Food where community health benefits from local commerce. A musician and avid traveler, he also enjoys listening to music and gardening. Favorite food? All of it when prepared with love!  He looks forward to teaching and inspiring you to cook delicious food at Basics Market.

Culinary Mentor

Originally from Athens, Greece, Chef Bourgidu brings a wealth of experience as restauranteur to the culinary team. He  believes “good” food  can be light and simple, “One can make a great dish with a bit of technique and five ingredients!” Alex was mentored by Rocky Maseli of Eugene’s Osteria Sfizio, an Italian eatery specializing in hand-made pastas. He has donned a toque at celebrated Portland restaurants Ned Ludd and Luce. He ascribes to the tenets of Slow Food where community health benefits from local commerce. A musician and avid traveler, he also enjoys listening to music and gardening. Favorite food? All of it when prepared with love!  He looks forward to teaching and inspiring you to cook delicious food at Basics Market.

Market Chef

Chef Rigsby grew up on a small farm in the Illinois Valley of Oregon.  He comes from a large family where each day commenced at the crack of dawn where he milked cows, fed chickens and worked in his family’s sizeable garden until age eighteen. A career culinarian, he was Sous Chef at Multnomah Athletic club, directed staff and stoves of a major catering company as Executive chef and as chef de partie in the kitchens at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU).  An accomplished artist, Scott loves working with food as medium – its endless variety, color and flavor. A traditional and digital painter, he specializes in portraiture and landscape themes, is working on a graphic novel, and sings opera. Stop by our Hillsdale market and you may catch a lilting aria as he prepares succulent roasted meats and great sandwiches for you in our Basics kitchen!

Market Chef

Chef Rigsby grew up on a small farm in the Illinois Valley of Oregon.  He comes from a large family where each day commenced at the crack of dawn where he milked cows, fed chickens and worked in his family’s sizeable garden until age eighteen. A career culinarian, he was Sous Chef at Multnomah Athletic club, directed staff and stoves of a major catering company as Executive chef and as chef de partie in the kitchens at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU).  An accomplished artist, Scott loves working with food as medium – its endless variety, color and flavor. A traditional and digital painter, he specializes in portraiture and landscape themes, is working on a graphic novel, and sings opera. Stop by our Hillsdale market and you may catch a lilting aria as he prepares succulent roasted meats and great sandwiches for you in our Basics kitchen!

Culinary Mentor

A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and trained under celebrity chef Jeremiah Tower, Culinary Mentor Randall Cronwell is a chef maestro and veteran culinary educator.  Among Portland’s pioneers of charcuterie and salumi, he is among the first practitioners of those crafts here in Stumptown.  When not in the kitchen, Randall is an accomplished musician, enjoys carpentry and tending to his gardens.

Culinary Mentor

A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and trained under celebrity chef Jeremiah Tower, Culinary Mentor Randall Cronwell is a chef maestro and veteran culinary educator.  Among Portland’s pioneers of charcuterie and salumi, he is among the first practitioners of those crafts here in Stumptown.  When not in the kitchen, Randall is an accomplished musician, enjoys carpentry and tending to his gardens.

Vice President/Procurement

Joel Dahll is one of the most experienced, selective grocery buyers in the Pacific Northwest. For more than 30 years, he has discovered and supported top West Coast farmers and makers, introducing their products to a generation of natural foods shoppers. At Basics, Joel sources pantry staples, produce, supplemental dairy and other items that round out the stores’ healthy offerings. Passionate about fitness and committed to the region where he has lived his whole life, Joel is proud to leverage his experience in order to build Basics’ network of thriving West Coast partners and increase access to fresh, healthy food.

Vice President/Procurement

Joel Dahll is one of the most experienced, selective grocery buyers in the Pacific Northwest. For more than 30 years, he has discovered and supported top West Coast farmers and makers, introducing their products to a generation of natural foods shoppers. At Basics, Joel sources pantry staples, produce, supplemental dairy and other items that round out the stores’ healthy offerings. Passionate about fitness and committed to the region where he has lived his whole life, Joel is proud to leverage his experience in order to build Basics’ network of thriving West Coast partners and increase access to fresh, healthy food.

Brand Steward

A Basics brand steward, Meredith Eggert contributes to store development, design, marketing and community outreach to help keep Basics as focused as possible on what matters: increasing access to healthy foods and helping more people cook at home. Beyond the store, Meredith mentors youth, and manages our partnerships with local elementary schools and food banks, helping share extra food from our farms and operations with local families and students.

Brand Steward

A Basics brand steward, Meredith Eggert contributes to store development, design, marketing and community outreach to help keep Basics as focused as possible on what matters: increasing access to healthy foods and helping more people cook at home. Beyond the store, Meredith mentors youth, and manages our partnerships with local elementary schools and food banks, helping share extra food from our farms and operations with local families and students.

Vice President, Operations

Michael Wolff brings to Basics nearly two decades of natural foods retail experience and leadership. With an emphasis on building healthy teams, happy customers and strong community connections, Michael’s people-first approach helps create environments where people want to work and shop. An avid home cook, Michael learned skills alongside his grandparents and parents, and now makes healthy meals with his wife and sons. Pizza grilled on the barbecue and tomatillo pork tacos are two of his favorites.

Vice President, Operations

Michael Wolff brings to Basics nearly two decades of natural foods retail experience and leadership. With an emphasis on building healthy teams, happy customers and strong community connections, Michael’s people-first approach helps create environments where people want to work and shop. An avid home cook, Michael learned skills alongside his grandparents and parents, and now makes healthy meals with his wife and sons. Pizza grilled on the barbecue and tomatillo pork tacos are two of his favorites.

Founder

Chuck Eggert has attracted an experienced collective of farmers, retail experts and brand builders to launch Basics, a new type of small-footprint grocery working to promote the role of fresh food and cooking in nurturing health and wellness. Organic farmer, regenerative ag practitioner, natural foods pioneer, Chuck is committed to increasing access to locally grown, nourishing foods; partnering with health professionals to strengthen the role of food as medicine; and helping nurture rural communities by investing in new agricultural-rooted enterprises.

Founder

Chuck Eggert has attracted an experienced collective of farmers, retail experts and brand builders to launch Basics, a new type of small-footprint grocery working to promote the role of fresh food and cooking in nurturing health and wellness. Organic farmer, regenerative ag practitioner, natural foods pioneer, Chuck is committed to increasing access to locally grown, nourishing foods; partnering with health professionals to strengthen the role of food as medicine; and helping nurture rural communities by investing in new agricultural-rooted enterprises.