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A bagger from Minneapolis-based Byerly’s has earned the chance to represent Minnesota in the National Best Bagger Championship in Las Vegas next February.
Blake Westling, who works at the Byerly’s market in Eagan, Minn., took first place in the Minnesota Grocers Association’s 23rd annual Best Bagger Contest held Aug. 13 at the Mall of America. Second place was awarded to David Kulberg of Cub Foods in Plymouth; third place went to Kassy Kueker of Village Market in Prior Lake.
The contest is a fun, fast-paced and entertaining competition, and also showcases the talents of one of the industry’s key employees. Twelve contestants were judged on speed, style, attitude, proper bag building technique and weight distribution between the bags. To showcase the retail food industry’s commitment to consumer choice and the well-being of the communities we serve, baggers used the reusable bags in the contest.
Four of the 12 baggers were also given Bagger Excellence Awards: Kassy Kueker of Village Market in Prior Lake received the Balance Award; David Kramer of Kowalski’s Grand Market in St. Paul received the Spirit Award; Blake Westling of Byerly’s in Eagan received the Style Award; and Vanessa Lewis of Coborn’s Superstore in Little Falls received the Traveler Award.
The Minnesota Grocers Association is a state trade association representing the food retail industry since 1897, with more than 200 retail members and nearly 1,100 stores statewide.