Meet Our Summer Interns 

This summer we have four amazing interns working with us! This group of unique individuals shares our passion for sustainability and are working along side us to empower businesses and consumers to reduce our collective footprint, bolstering the health of our planet and its people. We feel incredibly lucky to have our interns this summer and want you to meet them too! 


Jessie Caines

My name is Jessie Caines, I am going to be a senior at Tulane University in New Orleans this fall and I am really excited to be working with Next Bites this summer! I have always had a fascination with the environment, and combined with my passion for food this is a field I am really interested in. Last year I had the opportunity to live on a boat for four months and travel the world learning about the global environmental food system. This gave me the chance too see where food comes from all over the world, and try some amazing cuisines too! I am looking forward to being a part of a group that is working to make a real difference in my home, Chicago. 

Sofia Veraldi 

My name is Sofia Veraldi! I attend Indiana University Bloomington and am studying Environmental Sustainability Studies and Business with a focus in food systems. I am so excited to be interning at Next Bites this summer and be working to make our food system more sustainable one Chicago business at a time! My interest in food started from simply being an eating enthusiast, I enjoyed the experience of sitting down for a meal with quality, clean foods with friends and family. This transferred to working in the restaurant industry for several years, to seeking an education in food, to wanting a career in the world of sustainable and green eats! Can't wait to see where my food journey takes me next!






Food Sustainability has always been at the forefront of my mind. Graduating from Johnson & Wales University with a BA in Foodservice Management, and haven worked in numerous fine dining restaurants and bakeries alike, here in Chicago, I have been able to get a firsthand experience of sustainability in the kitchen. Working with Next Bites, I am looking to lend my perspective of the cook and offer that inside knowledge gained over the years. I am most excited about helping with restaurant audits, and being able to share my knowledge with others. 

Valeria Martinez

My name is Valeria Martinez, an undergrad in the Environmental Studies and Geography department at Northeastern Illinois University and now interning at Next Bites to work towards a more sustainable business ethic in Chicago. I have been a treehugger since childhood thanks to family trips to various natural areas around the Midwest and West Coast and now realizing the importance of conserving these natural resources through my college and community service experiences. I have volunteered multiple times for Chicagoland beach, park, and forest preserve cleanups and conservation work days, as giving back to the community through physical involvement is key to learning about living harmoniously with the natural environment while being a city dweller. Translating this to the foodservice industry is vital, as most aspects of climate change stem off of industrial agriculture and energy. I can’t wait to see where my experiences with Nextbites will lead me!