Ocotillo Fry’s manager wins coveted award SanTan Sun News

Ocotillo Fry’s manager wins coveted award

Ocotillo Fry’s manager wins coveted award
Neighbors
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BY KAYLA RUTLEDGE
Staff Writer

After working for 31 years with Fry’s Food Stores, Bruce Yeo has been recognized as the 2019 Food Marketing Institute Top Store Manager for stocking the company with exemplary customer service and positivity every day.

While supermarkets may be commonplace in Chandler, Yeo’s leadership has made the Fry’s at Ocotillo and Gilbert roads a destination marketplace for many of the area’s residents.

In order to win the award, managers must have proved a positive financial performance, overseen robust associate mentorship programs and maintained meaningful connections within their communities.

Yeo’s category had more than 200 other managers vying for the honor. In order to come out on top, Yeo said, he had to focus on the basics that many forget after years in the industry.

With humble beginnings as a grocery night stocker three decades ago, Yeo said, he stuck with the company because of its appreciation for genuine connections with customers – a core value he carries into his store consistently.

Considering the number of times a day that he checks on the marketplace’s various departments, it’s no wonder his store is one of the top performing Fry’s locations and that he was named Top Store Manager.

“His passion for people and their development is truly what makes him so successful. No one is more deserving of this award, and we are so proud of Bruce’s achievements,” said Melissa Stimac, Fry’s Food Stores district manager.

“[He] is a leader through and through and has a never-ending passion for excellence. He takes on new challenges and opportunities head-on and finds innovative ways to not only accomplish the goals, but come out on top,” Stimac added.

Starting his day at 6:30 a.m., Yeo heads out to the fuel pumps to ensure the location’s earliest customers are receiving quality service.

After making his way inside, he does an “associate appreciation walk to really appreciate the associates and what they do for me,” Yeo said.

He added that making sure employees are happy eventually rubs off on the customers and ensures experiences in the store are as upbeat and genuine as possible.

“I give a lot of credit to my associates, I’m really working with a great group,” Yeo said. 

The rest of his day consists of store walks to each department, which unlike traditional grocery stores, also includes an apparel section, a Starbucks, home fashion, cameras and electronic and an entire “baby world.”

At about 5 p.m., his day in the store comes to a close, but his responsibilities do not.

Running one of the chain’s most successful locations, Yeo has also found a knack for talent development. In the last two years, he has trained and promoted two new store managers, two district coordinators and a sales planner atop his normal day-to-day duties.

If he wasn’t busy enough, Yeo also finds time throughout the year to give his employees an opportunity to volunteer, as his location consistently donates to St. Mary’s Food Bank and participated in Red Cross’ community outreach during the holidays.

“We do a lot of volunteering just because that’s who we serve and we want to make sure were involved in that. The customers are spending their hard earned money in our building so we want to give that back somehow,” said Yeo.

Yeo won a crystal award and $1,000 that he said went “straight to the bank.”

Though the win has drawn attention to Yeo from across the nation, he said his focus remains on the community that has made the last 31 years of his career “so wonderful.”

“I just want to say I really have appreciated this opportunity and being chosen I am very grateful for being chosen to FMI for selecting me,” Yeo said.

“I just want to serve the customer to the best of my ability. They are our most valued asset and I want to make sure we stay focused on running a great store for our community.”

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