Carl Bell, of Mercer Island, placed third in the Washington Food Industry Association’s “Best Bagger State Championship” held October 22nd at the Red Lion Hotel at the Park in Spokane, Wash. Carl, a junior at Mercer Island High School, works as a courtesy clerk at QFC in Mercer Island and was chosen to represent the massive Northwest chain after three rounds of competition to reach the finals. Only one competitor per company is allowed.
The State Finals gather Washington's top grocery baggers who have qualified to compete after multi-round competitions within their own stores among employees. The carefully selected baggers who compete at the Best Bagger State Championship get a taste of the pressure the winner of the high-speed event will face at nationals.
David Tochinskiy of Evans, Wash., a courtesy clerk from Super 1 Foods (part of Rosauers Inc.) bagged the championship in the Washington State Best Bagger competition.
Tochinskiy won against 10 other finalists from across the state for the $1,500 prize and an all-expense paid trip to compete at the national Best Bagger competition taking place in Las Vegas in February 2014.
The annual national Best Bagger contest, sponsored by the National Grocer's Association is a competitive event that honors the best grocery baggers in the country. Contestants are judged on speed, proper bagging techniques, and customer service.
Each contestant is graded on speed, technique, weight distribution, attitude and appearance. Contestant's bags are slit open after each round to reveal packing technique. Nothing inside should fall out.
Other prizes awarded went to First Runner Up, Isaac Rushing of Metropolitan Market in West Seattle.
Earlier this year, Washington state brought home the 2013 National Title when Andrew Borracchini of Metropolitan Markets won the championship and received $10,000.