Meet Vermont’s Best Grocery Bagger

Audrey Blair was crowned the state champion at a competition Wednesday

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A Vermont grocery store employee has new bragging rights: she can say she's the state's "best bagger." Audrey Blair, a grocery bagger at the Price Chopper store in Essex, earned the title by participating in an annual competition Wednesday at the conference of the Vermont Retail and Grocers Association.

Grocery store employees were judged not just on the speed with which they bagged items, but also how well the weight of the bags was distributed and how safely they packed delicate items like potato chips.

Blair will represent Vermont against winners from other states at a national competition in Las Vegas in early 2015. She told New England Cable News she is already thinking of how she will practice for that event. "Setting up things by myself, having someone time me--and they can even weigh it too," Blair explained. "Doing that gradually up until Vegas, I think that's the way I'm going to do it."

"That's a very important job, and sometimes it gets just sort of taken for granted--and it shouldn't," said Jim Harrison of the Vermont Retail and Grocers Association. "We want to recognize the people who really are the last touch with the customer when they leave the door."

Harrison told NECN that three years ago, a Vermont bagger won the national prize in Vegas and a sizable cash prize.

Blair said she hopes she'll do as well, but competition aside, she said she is usually happy simply if her customers are happy with her service.

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