Meet our experts: 2015 Minnesota Best Bagger Lauren
Our baggers play a crucial role in providing you with a
sensational shopping experience. They ensure your groceries make it home safely
and provide that friendly service you expect from us. Lauren Gillson at our
Lunds & Byerlys in St. Cloud is an exceptional bagger. In fact, she is
Minnesota’s Best Bagger for 2015 and, in February, she’s headed to Las Vegas to
compete for the national title!
Q: How long have you been with Lunds
I started with the company in the middle of June, which was just a few weeks
before we held our store-level best bagger competition.
Q: What does a bagger/carryout do?
As a bagger, we
carefully package up the customer’s purchases and then help them out to their
vehicles. This is an important position, because we are the last people the
customers interact with during their shopping trip. We get to leave that last
good impression for our customers. We really complete their entire shopping
experience at Lunds & Byerlys.
Q: What do you like most about
working at Lunds & Byerlys?
This is my first job and it’s really been an unbelievable experience. I’ve
learned so much about the industry and the art of bagging. I didn’t even know
how much went into bagging groceries before I joined the company. But I have to
say that the best part about working at Lunds & Byerlys is definitely
working with people. I love my coworkers, supervisors and managers, and I
really enjoy getting to interact with our customers – both regulars and new
Q: How did you become the Lunds
& Byerlys Best Bagger?
I was such a new
employee that I was reluctant to enter the contest at my store. I was
completely surprised when I won at my store. I only had a week from that
competition until the companywide event, but my manager did a fantastic job of
encouraging and training me. When I arrived, the contest seemed much bigger
than I had imagined, so I just hoped that I would make it through the first
round of competition. After each round I was confident I tried my best, but I
could see just how skilled my opponents were, too. I was amazed when they called
my name as the winner!
Q: How did you prepare for the state
Dennis Calhoun, the
Lunds & Byerlys trainer, became my coach. He has been an incredible
instructor! During our practices – both in person and over FaceTime – we worked
on achieving better technique, faster time and evenly distributed weight
between the bags. Dennis also helped me boost my confidence, and he showed me
that I was ready to compete at the state level.
Q: What was the day of the state
After I competed and talked to Dennis about my bagging and then watched the
other competitors, I felt that I would likely finish in the top half of the
field. Once they named the third and second runners up, I remember my heart
pounding during the long pause before naming the first-place winner. When they
announced my name I was absolutely blown away! The best way to describe the
moments after winning would be that I was completely overwhelmed.
Q: What are your thoughts as you
head into the national competition in Las Vegas?
Lunds & Byerlys’ mission is to create sensational shopping experiences for
a lifetime. Not only have I been able to see the way that we live this mission
out, but this company has given me my own share of sensational experiences that
I’ll remember for a lifetime. It is an honor to be able to represent Lunds
& Byerlys, and everyone has gone out of their way to make me feel welcomed
and appreciated. As I head toward the national competition, I’d like to thank
my incredible coach, Dennis, my managers, my store in St. Cloud, the customers
who are cheering me on and everyone who has supported me through this awesome