Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Hangin' Out at Haggen

Every grocery store has its own culture, its own personality. You can sense it from the minute you pull into the parking lot. As you get out of your car you notice whether people take the time to move their carts to the cart return or if they just empty them and leave them any old place. You look for the smiling young people in yellow rain slickers pushing 15 inter-locked shopping carts, like a caboose powering a train, returning them to the store's entrance. You pay attention to how it feels, looks, and smells when you go through the front door.

How's the store laid out? What's the first thing you see when you enter? Are the restrooms easy to find? (Well, that's important to some people.) Can you sit down for a cup of coffee with a friend?

All great questions. But the thing that matters the most is this: What about the people that work there? Are they warm and friendly? Do they make you feel welcome, even special? Do they like their job and do it with grace?

I've been hangin' out at Stanwood Haggen for more than ten years, now, and I've got to say, I love my store! I like their products; I like their service; I'm getting used to the new layout and am even starting to like it too! But mostly I like the people.

Those folks are my friends. They are efficient, but they are also customer-minded. They always take the time to interact with me by asking me questions or answering mine, by sharing a story or a joke, or by simply flashing me a smile. I know their kids; they know mine. I'm such a regular customer that some of them know me by my phone number! I don't remember even one unpleasant encounter with any staff person at Haggen in the past ten years.

The other day when I went to pick up a prescription the computer was acting up, so I waited longer than usual to get my order. While I sat I watched the pharmacy tech, Bridget, interact with customers. Later, when I went back to ask if I could take her picture, I commented that she was so warm and friendly with the people that I thought some were friends before she ever began to work there. "Actually," she said, "I didn't know any of these folks before I started working here." But the warmth and grace that flowed from her that day really impressed me.

That's the sense I get when I go into Haggen. Those folks like what they do and they like their customers. And we like them!

Thanks to all the staff at Stanwood Haggen who make it a pleasure to give you our money! (Hey, did I say that??)

Bridget and Gary in the pharmacy
Ninfa, at Orient Express
Dane and Wanda

1 comment:

Joan Husby said...

Nice that you thought of putting into words what many of us feel!