In the summer of ’04, James R. heard about my experience in Zimbabwe, and when he asked about the story, he heard about how we were detained by the authorities. When I wrote a story in a state newspaper, James R. read a copy.
The next summer, James R. knew I was going to Jamaica for a month, and when he asked, learned that we had made it through two strong, Caribbean hurricanes.
In between the summers, James R. wanted to know about my college journey, my start in youth ministry and my decision to go to seminary. All this in the checkout line at the grocery store.
For many, the Ukrop’s checkout line has been a city-sized version of an old country store. Catching up with friends. Knowing each other’s stories. And they carried your groceries out for you!
I finally met James R. Like many others throughout the years, he was a quality employee. For all those years, he was always working on my mom’s weekly Ukrop’s run. He packed her bags and carried them to the car.
Quality service and relationships will keep customers coming back, building a lifelong loyalty. It is the loyalty that has kept locals shopping in their small communities while the box stores crept in. And on those two pillars, Ukrop’s was built.