Ralph loves working in the grocery business as much as he loves music. He started as a bottle boy at his family’s market in 1975 making $2.15 an hour. “It was enough to buy myself a KISS record and a pair of Britannia jeans,” he says.
He worked his way up during his years at the family business, learning something about every facet of the grocery industry and becoming store director. He worked for other retailers for 20 years before joining our Cedar Mill team as a Cashier in 2019. Market of Choice is a family company and, Ralph says, he feels like he’s returned home in many ways. “Market of Choice is the same environment I had when I was growing up,” he says.
Though he’s worked at many levels in the grocery business, he’s happy being a Cashier because it brings him closer to people. He’s come to value relationships he forms with customers. “I think, personally, everybody you meet, you take a piece of them with you,” he said. “That’s my favorite part of the job – interacting with people.”
He’s seen a lot of changes in the grocery industry over the years. Back when he was just getting started, there were only 10 kinds of cereal and four varieties of apples at your everyday grocery store.
After being in the business as long as he has, Ralph says many of the operations are second nature to him. He spent 16 years as a rock musician and sees similarities in the way he performs his job at the cash register. “It’s like playing the guitar,” he says. “If you think about what you’re doing, you actually start messing up the chords. So it’s just good to go with the flow, then your fingers actually go where they need to go.”
Ralph still likes to play guitar, enjoys hunting down antiques, always likes to spend time with his family. He feels fortunate to do what he loves every day. “They say if you love your work, you never work a day in your life,” he says. “That’s true.”