Sandra Thomas
Marty’s Local director of marketing and customer support

Meet Sandra Thomas

“The legwork BI does in identifying a pool of candidates has been key in helping us hire strong interns,”

Back in 2016, when Marty’s Local was just getting off the ground, its first intern drove a produce truck, delivering locally grown food to customers all over the region. Marty’s has grown quite a bit since then, and its interns now do a little of everything—from research on the local food system to social media marketing and beyond.

Marty’s has worked with Lever’s Berkshire Interns program since 2018, simplifying the hiring process in the same way Marty’s simplifies local sourcing for its farm partners and customers.
The company partners with more than 75 local and regional farm and food partners and delivers their products to restaurants, colleges, schools, grocery stores, caterers, farm stores, retreat centers, and more. In turn, these customers sustain their own communities, while strengthening local food supply chains at the same time.

BI makes hiring interns simpler for employers by marketing internships to 150 colleges and collecting resumes for hiring managers to review. “The legwork BI does in identifying a pool of candidates has been key in helping us hire strong interns,” said Sandra Thomas, Marty’s Local director of marketing and customer support, who manages the company’s interns every year. “Every intern we’ve had has been eager to learn and willing to do anything and everything. They have tackled new job skills, brought their unique perspective to our work, and overall it’s been a very successful experience.”

One student, a marketing major at UMASS-Amherst, helped Marty’s enhance and grow its social media presence. “We had to keep up with her!” said Thomas. “She jumped right in and was a natural at creating content. She had a great understanding of furthering a narrative, promoting a product, and engaging with the consumer.”

Another Marty’s intern helped work on big-picture organizational work—researching industry guidelines and regulations to help further plans that Marty’s leadership was considering. Interns also help with customer support, order management, purchasing, and working directly with the company’s farm partners.

As part of the BI cohort, interns also get the opportunity for professional development and networking, which introduces them to new ideas and skills they can bring back to their work. “This aspect of the program has been great; it’s another way of engaging with the interns,” Thomas said. “When they participate in workshops, they share what they have learned, and it spurs conversations around the work we’re doing together and their future career goals. It really rounds out the program as a learning experience.”

Marty’s is a startup, so the work is intensive, with little “extra” time in a day. Thomas said she has recommended BI to other small businesses because “without BI I don’t imagine we’d be able to pursue interns in a comprehensive way,” she said. “That’s a primary benefit of BI—they have done the legwork, they have the relationships, and they bring us a strong pool of interns to interview and hire.”