Crown Student Wins State Bagging Competition

Crown Student Wins State Bagging Competition

By Katie Hinkle

Seth Allen is the best bagger in Minnesota!

The Crown College senior won the state bagging competition and was able to advance and compete for a grand prize of $10,000 and the title of being the National Grocers Association (NGA) Best Bagger Champion earlier this month. Allen, who is from Brook Park, Minn., has worked for four summers straight at the Chris’ Food Center in Sandstone, Minn.

“Every year the store sends one person to the Minnesota competition, held at Mall of America in August,” says Allen. “I was the winner from our store last year as well but did not make it to the nationals. Fifteen other grocery stores from around the state compete to determine who will represent Minnesota at the national competition held in Las Vegas.”

The National Grocers Association Best Bagger Championship is a nationwide promotion for supermarket employees. It is intended to demonstrate a superior core customer service skill in a friendly competition. Employees from every state come together to compete in a fast-paced competition.

A panel of judges evaluates the contestants on a thirty point scale featuring speed, bagging technique, weight, style and appearance.

“Although many think that speed is the most important area to be good at, weight and bagging technique, are usually what separates the good baggers from the best baggers,” says Allen.

Sadly, Allen did not win at the national level in Las Vegas but overall he says it was a good experience meeting new people and traveling to new places.

After experiencing a different part of the country, Allen’s eyes were opened.

“My heart was softened to a need that this world has,” he says. “Spending a week in Las Vegas, Nevada — also known as Sin City — I was able to see a lot of the things that the city is known for and it broke my heart. It reiterated our need for a Savior.”

With graduation ahead, Allen says he learned the true meaning of perseverance during his time at Crown. “It isn’t about how you start the race; it is about how you finish,” he says.

With his Communications major and Business minor sitting in his back pocket, Allen hopes to one day start up a business of his own. He is already on the fast track.

Andrew Kirvo, from Fox 21 Local News, interviewed Allen and some of his coworkers from Chris’ Food Center. Kirvo’s interview is available online.

“It was really weird seeing myself on TV, or having people ask me about.” Allen comments, “Not to many people get to say they were on TV. The whole experience was really cool.”

Craig Thorvig, store owner and former state bagging champion, had this to say about Allen:

“He’s a great person. He’s going to be very successful in life and whoever gets him as a long term employee after he graduates from college is going to be very, very fortunate.”