I had a chat on May 8 with Pamela Riemenschneider, staff writer for The Packer. Here and here are previous chats with Pamela on the Fresh Talk blog.

 me: Hi Pamela
 
Pamela: Hi Tom! Is it that time already? 

 me: I hope you have had your cup of coffee...

10:02 AM Pamela: I just spilled it on the floor. no worries, I got another 

 me: Worry about the stain later..

10:03 AM Thanks for taking time for another chat. We've had a couple and I wanted to catch up with our Austin correspondent...

10:04 AM I enjoyed your recent column about the differences between stores, even as part of the same chain. What makes a store attractive to you - layout, the people, the product, location..what counts the most for you?

10:06 AM Pamela: I think for me it might actually be layout first and product second. That sounds weird because product should be the first on the list in my mind, but when I walk into a store and feel disoriented, it throws off my whole shopping experience.
10:07 AM I'm a big fan of the produce department being right inside the front door with a layout that's kind of like a maze.

10:08 AM me: Is it different now with a child in tow ... that puts an extra premium on knowing where things are, I'll bet..
 Pamela: Oh yeah. And I am thoroughly convinced there's an Inspector Gadget in my bloodline somewhere because that boy has go-go gadget arms. He's done the mom's nightmare -- he toppled an entire stack of apples the other day by pulling the bottom ones out.

10:09 AM me: Ha...wish the tape was rolling
10:10 AM Speaking of that.. I know you are involved with multimedia efforts for The Packer, including of course Pamela's Kitchen.. What's "cooking" in that respect in the next month or two and how have you find the new Packer web site?

10:11 AM Pamela: I've got something exciting -- and very timely -- in my kitchen this month. Bland Farms sent me one of their Vidalia Onion cookers. I was really surprised about how well it worked. It's my little onion space ship. 

 me: What does that look like..a cooker, you say?

10:12 AM Pamela: It really does look like a little onion-shaped space ship.
  Does a great job at microwave-roasting an onion, though.
10:13 AM The new Web site for me is great because I've been begging for more features for a while. Having the archives right there is very handy for those of us outside the newsroom.
  I've also been brushing up my video editing skills so we can have a lot more frequent video posts from our reporters in the field.
  It's nice to get a first-hand look at what's going on out in the produce world.

10:16 AM me: Yes...the Web site is very clean and well thought out. What is your next section/travel for The Packer... any trips to KC this summer?

10:17 AM Pamela: I'll be in town in just a few weeks for a visit and to get some fresh photos of the staff. Then for me, I'm sticking close to home with the Texas Produce Convention here in Austin and then to Anaheim for PMA. I've been sticking close to home with the little one and have been very fortunate to be able to do so.

10:19 AM me: I think your little one will be holding the camera for Pamela's kitchen before too long...
10:21 AM I've kept you a while, but wanted to ask about my new favorite obsession - Twitter.com... are you among the peeps, and if not, why not?

10:24 AM Pamela: I've been intrigued with the idea and have an account, but I've yet to do my first tweet. For a while there, I thought it would probably be something that blew over and the idea kind of seemed silly. Now, though, as I've been looking around at people's tweets and seeing people make good use out of it rather than things like "had nachos for dinner. They were good", I may step in. It's a great way to share interesting article's you've read or spread the word about events.
  I've said this before, but I think Annika Stensson from the National Restaurant Association does a great job with Twitter for business purposes.

10:26 AM me: I admit to a honey roasted peanut butter reference...guilty as charged... No, you are right. there are lot of produce people out there doing a good job with tweets, including Frieda's, PBH and more... Should be interesting to follow that evolution and I'm sure you will be joining us.. Thanks again Pamela!

 Pamela: You're quite welcome. And I LOVE honey roasted peanut butter. fresh-ground.