(Photo by Mike Gatty, substituted Monday for previously used UStream screengrab)
Just in from Las Vegas, via the Metropolitan Market Twitter feed – The Admiral store’s Andrew Borracchini won the Best Bagger National Championship at the National Grocers Association’s Las Vegas convention a short time ago. We checked in with Andrew earlier this week just before he and his family left for Vegas. Andrew has won the Washington State championship the past two years, and this was his second trip to Vegas to compete in nationals.
ADDED 5:39 PM: Rhonda Porter (WSB sponsor) notes in comments and here that Metropolitan Market shoppers got the news over the PA system when Andrew won. Store director Glen Hasstedt says the national champ is likely to be back at work next weekend.
P.S. Per a comment, Andrew is expected to be on “The Late Show with David Letterman” Monday night!
MONDAY MORNING UPDATE, 8:43 AM: A National Grocers Association spokesperson tells WSB that actually the plan for that is still in the works, “likely in a couple days.” Watch here for updates.
MONDAY 9:20 AM: The official news release from the Washington Food Industry Association:
On Sunday February 10th Andrew Borracchini, an 18 year old grocery bagger from Metropolitan Market in West Seattle, took home the ultimate prize at the National Grocers Association sponsored Best Bagger contest. The contest featured the best-of-the-best from 23 states for the coveted $10,000 grand prize, “Golden Grocery Bag” trophy and the “Best Bagger Golden Lane,” a special checkout stand that will be installed in his home store in West Seattle’s Admiral District.
Andrew Borracchini has already won the statewide qualifying Best Bagger competition for 2 consecutive years. Today he returns to Washington triumphant after flying to New York to schedule an appearance on the David Letterman show. When asked about his performance this year compared to last, he said he “just worked harder and tried to remain less stressed.” Andrew’s Store Manager Glen Hasstedt, who has also previously trained Andrew’s brother and sister at Metropolitan Market urged Andrew to “stay grounded, stay focused on your job, and not get overwhelmed,” practiced with him 4 days per week (including weekends) for months, and every day in the weeks leading up to the nationals.
The Borracchini family, longtime members of Seattle’s grocery industry who own local favorite Borracchini Bakery, were able to attend the contest in Las Vegas to cheer Andrew on for his big win.
Metropolitan Market stores are led by Store President Terry Halverson, a member of the Board of directors of the Washington Food Industry Association —the non-profit organization that annually hosts the Washington State Best Bagger Competition and represents members of the independent, local food industry.
Andrew adds that he would like to thank his co-workers, friends, family and the WFIA for all of their support.