This Grocery Store Worker Serves 35,000 Customers Weekly | On the Job | Priya Krishna | NYT Cooking
Home » This Grocery Store Worker Serves 35,000 Customers Weekly | On the Job | Priya Krishna | NYT Cooking

This Grocery Store Worker Serves 35,000 Customers Weekly | On the Job | Priya Krishna | NYT Cooking

People like do you go to the gym and I'm Like no I beat on fish all Day let's rewind Here 8 years 10 years 17 years there are People who have built a career on making Sure we accomplish an everyday task Getting in and getting out with our Groceries in hand but that's often not The way we think of grocery store Workers which is why their jobs can feel Thankless and even invisible are you Being helped yep that's when I met Amy a Grocery worker at Stew Leonard's as Assistant Seafood manager she isn't just The person who hands you your salmon From behind the counter thank you so Much you have a great day her goal is to Make this job that can seem invisible Visible do you need anything else today Can I help with next what else can I get For you today regardless of how she Feels on the day she shows up all right Thank you very much you have a good one Thank you with a smile a grind and and Even a lobster suit welcome to stews to Attend to and entertain smile big thanks For being so sweet a you're welcome the Almost 35,000 customers who shop here Weekly I've never been in a grocery store this Early Wow gummy Burgers Dippin Dots Ruan and Dragon fruit turmeric root do they make Their own ice cream here mini burritos

Baked potatoes kishes wow Jamaican beef Patties they bought everything this Always sat in our pantry and like once Every like 5 months we would get to do The Old El Paso taco dinner kit and it Was like the best day of my Life Santa Claus I'm tell you honey oh my God the Animatronic ah is that Yoda this Yoda Has seen better days and his arm is Falling off a little bit oh my God Chas AUA did you see that God that's going to haunt me in my Dreams tonight oh my God I can't look at That anymore I'm just I like I can't I Can't with the Chas Aquacate all right I'm going to try It this is like a chuckecheese but a Grocery store it it's too early for this And yet it is the perfect time for this They're fresh yes they are care Wow are these apple cider donuts app Cider Yes oh my God those are so good hi Amy one of your co-workers gave me an Apple cider donut fresh from the fryer These are amazing I've never been to a St Leonard I am just fascinated by all The animatronics I still go around and I Still hit the buttons you do yeah yeah When you're working you start singing The songs and when you go home you start Singing the songs and then I'm like I Was probably working too much today cuz

Now I'm singing all the songs uh all Right so should we go to the seafood Department I'll meet you guys over there Sounds good yay Co beans wow so much Energy so early but hey I'm I'm hitting That Energy like seriously these are so Good wow look at this Seafood Counter morning Amy good morning is that How she is every day it's all the time Oh good morning Don there's my Superstar where do you feel like your Energy comes from people ask me that all The time I'm not really sure I'm Definitely a half glass full kind of Person it could always be worse I get up Every day and I get on my two feet I Have a job and my family is healthy Everything else from there is pretty Much Extra could you tell us your journey That led you to working at St Leonard's I came in for a seasonal help one year And that was 16 years ago from there I Started as a seasonal cashier went up to Customer service I did children's tours Absolutely great time from there I went To become a supervisor I was store Manager and now I'm assistant manager in Fish what time did you get here this Morning3 oh wow yeah is that every day No I'm retired I only work here a few Days a week oh my gosh sounds nice yeah

It keeps me off the Streets First thing in the morning they're Looking at the fish making sure that It's all right for the customers Everything gets laid out fresh every Morning how long till opening we open at 7:00 so about another half hour we'll Have customers outside at 7:00 waiting To come in Sometimes they come chly for Fish they do the kind of shopping Throughout the whole store but they're Usually outside waiting So we're pretty good on Snapper and Grouper I'm going to grab some bronos We'll get some cage and catfish and it's Pretty much just double cheing Everything that the guys have already Done must be about opening time yes You'll probably see a couple people Walking around they're probably hanging Out in the baker now cuz all the bagels And whatnot are coming out I'm like the Person who goes to the grocery store 15 Minutes before it closes and they're out Of everything that's the kind of grocery Shopper I Am these guys here the portion size Yeah all right have a great weekend Which fish is going to go first do you Think probably the salmon and the hack Halap it will go chili and seab bass Will go and Snappers you're going to see A lot of Snappers sold today I go

Through about probably 200 lb a week Biggest learning I had to do was Learning all the different types of fish Learning what's out in the ocean and Learning where each fish comes from and How they grow and how they migrate and What kind of season they're having You're just in a constant learning State You're filling yeah we're going to Filt how long did it take you to learn How to fillet it was a constant onee Training every day I came in 8 hours I Was on the table not moving by the end Of the day I was so tired my guy Mike Did not let me leave he's like no no cut This one no no no you're not done cut This One and this way it's already already For the customers you really can't get Any fresher than that right it's going Straight to the Bar my fish cutter he's the Pro Amy said you taught her everything She Knows was Amy a quick study oh yeah she Was quick and she was a little bit Watching any time I'm cutting should be Watching for this one is like is the Blood the have a pight they have a Inside like this we are not going to put It on the B like anytime FL like this I See it we don't sell it can't win them All I love to get down and dirty with The team and I don't ask my team to do

Anything that I myself wouldn't do so if I need to take out garbage I'll run the Garbage out if we need to mop the floor I'll grab a mop and mop the floor we Need to wash the dishes I'm in the sink Washing dishes so when they see me doing That they don't hesitate to then Themselves go ahead and do That all right guys go to the receiving Dock I'll be Back let's go taking an Order hey good morning good Morning this nose is very important I Don't want to just take something in and Then throw it out on the bar because Somebody goes home with a bad piece of Fish and they get sick from it that's Horrible and I would feel Horrible you want a nice orange color Like it is there really nice texture no Browning going on no tanning going on Everything smells fresh you get your Face in that fish and you want to smell It because if a fish has a bad smell Then it's not good it has a fishy smell I'm sending it back to you right Yeah this one here is the halet so this This one here's got to be about probably Close to about 50 lb okay we're going to Cut him right away and then you get into A shellfish clams they come from Norway So I look at the muscle bag we want to Make sure they're all nice and closed no Smell coming from them right no dripping

Water that means they're nice and fresh Our oysters right now we're actually Getting from Canada they're coming from Prince Edward Island double cheing all The tags that come in the fish letting Me know exactly where it's from so this Way I make sure that nothing but the Best for the customer outside And then that's it that's pretty much Our orders I'm good thank you I will see You next Week afterwards I'll go outside check The displays see what needs to be Refilled so this way we'll get Restocking on those as Well you change your gloves every like 5 Minutes yeah I touch the fish I change The glove I touch some of the carts I Change my gloves pick up something from The floor you change your gloves I'll Probably go through a box of gloves Maybe box and a half myself we want that Constant glove change you want to make Sure you're not cross-contaminating any Of your fish Do you get tired of Seafood Yes um you do Sometimes so we got our live lobsters Probably have about 200 lobsters in the Tank they like the dark Corners so They're all huddled in the back oh yeah They like dark and Cold there you

Go so this here is our Lobster meat it Comes in straight from Canada we just Defrost it and then we use it for our Salads this is what I use for the hot Lobster rolls we use this for our Regular lobster Rolls wow yum hot lob street right so Goes right from the pan right outside All right here we go let's LP it up What's the origin story of the lobster Roll station we actually started about a Year ago one of our other stores they Were doing them inside their fish Department and we decided we're going to Roll it out across seven Stores the energy in the store is wild We've been like dip ducking and dodging Carts to get around this is a grocery Store on a Saturday it is 11:23 we have been at this St Leonard's For 6 and 1 half hours at this point I'm Not going to lie like an hour ago I sort Of hit a wall but then like seeing Amy Get so excited prepping lobster for the Lobster rolls I kind of have a second Win now hey how are you good than good One please just one sure Amy is out There hand selling lobster rolls one by One she's the preparations person she is The manager making sure everyone's doing What they're supposed to be doing she Really does Wear like a zillion hats and then 10

More and it's kind of amazing do you do This year round the lobster rolls we are We're year round with the lobster rolls People do love lobster rolls yes hey how Are you today Good this yonas as the number one store From a volume perspective we have about 500 people working here in a given time We sell almost 16,000 Christmas tree Just this location alone we have about 35,000 customer a shop here every week To Big stories about 130,000 ft you told Me that this is a moderate day which is Truly shocking because it has been so Packed hey good morning how are you good Morning Mr udine can you tell me about Working with Amy and what that has been Like oh Amy Amy is a joy to me Personally she's the nicest manager She's very Lively she's very energetic Without a doubt her energy she brings You so much energy joy and pep to Everything she does I could be sad Sometime but she helped me lift lift my Yourself up you know all right you're Welcome have a great one thank you guys You are dealing with people with all Different temperaments moods Perspectives how do you deal with the Person who's having the worst day ever So I really stress that I'm kind of There to service them sometimes you just Have a bad day don't let that one bad Day or that one bad incident ruin

Everything else that you're going to do Today good morning guys how are you do You feel like you have those bad days Sometimes sometimes We're Following the Leader the leader The leader come on ready Following the Leader wherever he may go Logan stop And hey excuse Me are you going to walk nicely what's The matter this morning talk to Mommy Come on let's go line up no no no no yes Yes yes I'll just play here no no we Can't play in the morning come on we're Going to have a good day today no No I'm not going to school oh you're Going to school buddy come on come On ready come on come one two three come Come have an amazing day bye I love you Have a good Day how was that um that was a little Rough for drop off and he actually had a Rough morning he didn't want to get up This morning and I'm like oh okay no no School today he he know Mommy we're Going to stay home together and I'm like Oh no no mommy has to go to work today All days we're going to Work uhoh this is simply overflowing With lobster all Right so much Lobster I can't believe This was $15 good Stuff Lobster ready let's go let's go sell

Some lobster rolls is it easy to walk in That um it's okay so my legs only go About that far from each other so that's Why I kind of look like a penguin when I Walk we make it work this is pretty much What I live for hi guys how are you all Right we're going to go outside we're Going to get some customers get some uh Let's do it I'm so excited we're about To the most popular people in the Grocery store hey guys what's up Happy Lobster day oh happy Saturday hey guys Oh give me some claw Owow Ta I thought I was Hallucinating hi guys how are you today Give me a claw all right give me a claw No okay it's okay give me another claw All right Lobster Lobster Lobster can You tell me a bit about how the lobster Costume and the Instagram appearances Started it was really random we were Having our like big lobster sale and We're pushing lobster tails and I'm like Oh well I should dress as a lobster and Like you know just go for it and they're Like yeah you should and I'm like oh Okay so then we decided Well let's do a Video it just exploded so from there I Said oh this was pretty cool let's do Another one and then the next one and The next one in the next one and I think We're up to about 10 videos with the Lobster costume now so you come see us

Here at the Y sea Department New L every Now and then customers will walk by and They're like I know you and I'm like H The lobster lady here I am a lot of like People like I was having a bad day and Like I watched your video lopster Extravaganza and they're like it just Made my day better and I'm like all Right cool well I'm glad wait for the Next video come get some lobster rolls Come get them come eat them come fill That belly You said that you want to make a job That feels invisible visible can you Talk to me more about that you come in a Store and you just see the Egle waffles On the shelf or you see the chicken you See my salmon there how did that really Get there there was somebody that had to Place the order there's somebody that Had to unpack the boxes somebody that Had to pack the shelves it takes a team To actually do that hundreds and Thousands of hours of work yes Yes your job is so essential but I feel Like people take grocery store workers For granted do you ever feel taken for Granted I do in a sense yes and no and You were working all through Co yes wow What was the hardest thing for you During the pandemic working here Probably doing the crowd control so we Had the line outside the store and you Know kind of limiting everybody coming

In because you really wanted people to Get in get what they need and then be Able to go back home if it wasn't Technically for all the grocery store Workers that people wouldn't have had Food the store never closed at all People got to see how how important Grocery workers were just because of the Amount of people that would come in and Say oh thank God you're still open a lot Of customers have said oh thank you like You guys have been open even through Co And now people got Co they had to be out For at least a week or two we had a lot Of call outs during that time so even With that we still managed who's next Are you I'm good how are you this is my Job and outside of here we're all people We're all humans don't just say give me That or give me that please thank you Goes the long way just being generally Nice kind of just changes somebody's Whole day all right thank you so much You have a great day thanks hi guys what Can I get for you give me two pieces two Pieces is there anything you want to say To other grocery workers it's still okay To have a bad day it's okay to have a Bad customer it's just remembering that It's not bad forever you're okay it'll Be Okay oh my God hi Lobster oh 1 2 3 say lobster Lobster is there like a goal you do want

To accomplish I'm assistant manager I Want to eventually become manager and Then work my way up from there whether It's a director or store president Or a buyer I want to just kind of keep Going what motivates you my family Pretty much I want to make sure that I Can get them whatever it is that they Need and provide for my son I just want To make sure that they were all taken Care of and that's what pushes me the Most that's right there's the dance oh Good Job

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