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Webster’s Marketplace owner Candie Baker accepts the Wisconsin Grocers Association Supermarket Hero award from WGA President and CEO Brandon Scholz.

Tears of joy rained down at Webster’s Marketplace last week Thursday when owner Candie Baker accepted the Wisconsin Grocers Association (WGA) Supermarket Hero Award for the store’s efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The award recognized Webster’s efforts to improvise, adapt and overcome challenges created by the pandemic, for the betterment of the store, employees and customers.

Prior to the award presentation, Webster’s employees worked to keep the award a surprise from their boss.

Baker was called to a different part of the store, while employees set up a table with balloons and cake.

When Baker arrived, she was greeted by a fleet of employees and WGA President and CEO Brandon Scholz, who presented the award.

“This isn’t over — nobody is thinking this is done — we’re still wearing masks,” he said of the pandemic. “What we wanted to do is recognize some people, so we could recognize the industry and stores for all they’ve done.”

He said Baker went above and beyond to keep her staff and customers safe during the pandemic, which is why she was given the WGA Supermarket Hero Award.

Likewise, Webster’s Human Resources and Payroll Manager Anna Oosterhouse said Baker brings out the best in her employees.

“There isn’t a decision made by Candie or her leadership team that doesn’t have the community's absolute best interest in mind,” she said. “Candie believes in the individual best in her team, and the biggest pride she has is watching them develop.”

When the pandemic began impacting the area, Oosterhouse noted Baker was “agile” in implementing measures that would best serve the community.

Baker said she couldn’t have received the award without the hard work and dedication of her staff.

“Certainly, we couldn’t have done what we’ve done over the last however many months, without all of you,” Baker said to her staff as tears of joy began developing in her eyes. “You guys are like family to me. Thank you, everyone.”

Written By

Joe Schulz served as the reporter of the Green Laker in 2019 and 2020, before being hired as a reporter for the Commonwealth in October 2020. He is from Oshkosh and graduated from UW-Oshkosh in December with a bachelor's degree in journalism.

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(3) comments

Dale Failor

This is well deserved.

Eric P Godfrey

I'm having a reality disconnect here. Yes, early in the pandemic Websters was reasonably responsive and required masks. Now, during the delta surge with nearly full hospitals, they have declined to do so (they have been specifically urged to return to requiring masks, and have not done so). And although all their employees recently resumed wearing masks (for which I thanked the on-duty manager last time I was there), customers are not even urged to do so, let alone required (unless that has changed in the past week). On none of my trips to the store in September were more than 25% of customers masked, mostly much less. That's how the virus spreads in area communities. So I join in congratulating the store for its many efforts to protect our community. But the person quoted in the news story says that "“This isn’t over — nobody is thinking this is done — we’re still wearing masks," and that last claim is factually wrong. Employees are, but very few customers I've seen are, which I find sad.

Carol Cate

Well done Candie and all the workers at Webster's - you all deserve this award! Congratulations!!

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