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.”