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Contest is in the bag

February 06, 2009|By MARLO BARNHART

HAGERSTOWN - With only two months of experience under his belt, Jeffrey "J.J." Bliss packed up an impressive win Friday night in the sixth annual Martin's Food Market's Best Bagger Round-Up.

"My secret is to build the base, protect the fragile and provide customer service ... I always listen to the customer's needs," Bliss said after his win in the competition, which was at the Martin's at North Pointe in Hagerstown.

Bliss works at Martin's in McConnellsburg, Pa., which is part of the grocery store chain's District 2. He was one of 12 contestants in Friday's contest.

"Competitors are judged on time, weight and distribution of the items," said Kerry Young, manager of the Valley Mall Martin's and one of the judges.

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Each bagger packed up the same 20 or so items ranging from canned goods to cleaning products to chips.

Second-place honors went to Jessica Schisler, who works at the Dual Highway Martin's in Hagerstown, while third was scooped up by Max Green of Martin's in Cumberland, Md.

Between 60 and 70 co-workers, friends, family and even some shoppers got into the spirit of the contest, cheering on the baggers and waving signs as they competed.

The other competitors and their stores were Kayla Murdorf of Waynesboro, Pa.; Kristy Cramer of Chambersburg, Pa.; Ryan Wade of Keyser, W.Va.; Caleb Miller of Martin's on Wesel Boulevard in Hagerstown; Ruth Wallace of Connellsville, Pa.; Josh Broadwater of LaVale, Md.; Logan Stepler of Chambersburg; Matt Hall of Martin's at North Pointe in Hagerstown; and Jen Snyder of McConnellsburg, Pa.

All of the competitors received Martin's gift cards presented by Martin's District Manager Steve Angle.

The next step for Bliss will be the regional competition in Hershey, Pa., later this year.

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