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Stew Leonard's will hold its First Annual Bag-off Competition May 27 from 5 p.m. to 9 P.M. at Fairfield University’s Alumni Hall. The purpose of the contest is to encourage team, through hands-on training and a more interactive experience, to bag more efficiently, for the benefit of both the planet and Stew Leonard's.
"The idea started as a way to celebrate our 40th anniversary and thank our team members, so we sent a few people out to California to observe and learn from the bag-off experts -- Nugget Markets," noted Stew Leonard Jr., president and CEO of Stew Leonard's. "While watching their baggers compete, our people starting thinking about the number of bags we could save. What a great opportunity to thank our team members, reduce our impact on the environment and save the company money."
Stew Leonard's four locations recently hosted semi-final competitions to find their four best baggers to send to the final competition. In addition to bragging rights, the winner will receive a $500 reward, a trophy, and a trip to observe the National Grocers Association's 2010 U.S. Best Bagger Championship, being held in Las Vegas in February. Second- and third- place winners will get medals and rewards of $300 and $200, respectively.
In addition to the contest itself, creative signage and reminders from the emcees will remind participants of other steps to help reduce, reuse and recycle, including the purchase and use of reusable bags and creative ways to reduce garbage, such as donating day-old baked goods to charitable institutions.
The competition is the highlight of Stew Leonard's Team Member Appreciation Event, which also includes a kick-off by the nationally recognized Trumbull High School Golden Eagle Marching band; recognition of Stew Leonard's 2009 Scholarship Program winners; contests for those not participating in the bag-off and; and prizes including Wii games, digital cameras, iPods and cell phones.
Norwalk, Conn.-based Stew Leonard's, a family-owned and operated fresh food store founded in 1969, has four stores in Norwalk, Danbury, and Newington, Conn. and Yonkers, N.Y.