Carole Quan's welcoming smile and friendly personality is what helps make the Lucky Supermarket on Lakeville Street feel more like a neighborhood store than a large retailer.
A cashier for Lucky for 23 years, Quan's love for her job and the people she meets in her checkout line has earned her the title of Service Person of the Week.
Quan started her work career in 1977 at the Shell gas station on the corner of Caulfield Lane and Lakeville Street. After taking a break to finish out her college degree at Sonoma State University, she and a friend decided to apply for a job at the newly constructed Lucky Supermarket. They both got the job.
"I never thought I'd be here 23 years," said Quan. "I really do enjoy it."
Over the years, Quan has seen the store go from being a Lucky Supermarket, to Albertson's and then back to a Lucky store. Despite the changes, she finds the most enjoyable aspect of her job is the people she meets.
"Our store is right on the gateway out to the coast, so we see people coming in here from places such as Europe and Asia," said Quan. "We see families from Sacramento and &‘the hot lands' come through our store who are on their way to the ocean to cool down. We see some of these families come through every year."
Quan said she enjoys her regular customers and watching their kids grow up and have kids of their own.
"I forget sometimes that I work for a big chain store," she said. "It really feels more like a corner grocery store."
A nearly 18-year-breast-cancer survivor, Quan often finds herself encouraging customers who come in who face similar health battles.
She also likes to help out the men who come through her checkout by gently reminding them of upcoming holidays, such as Valentine's Day and Mother's Day.
"I try to give guys, especially the young ones, some advice on what they're supposed to do for the women in their lives," said Quan.
"Carole is kind, generous and helpful to every customer despite long hours on her feet every day," said one regular customer of the store.
Quan is the second of five people to be named Service Person of the Week. Last week's honoree was Becky Rowland, an employee of Orchard Supply Hardware.
Do you know a Petaluma service person who offers exemplary service?
Write a letter or e-mail a nomination to firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us why you think your nominee should be considered for the service person award (no phone calls, please).
Nominations for Service Person can cover all aspects of the service industry, but should not include business owners, managers, directors or those in charge of departments. Previous Service Person of the Year honorees will not be considered for the contest.
Five nominees will be named Service Person of the Week. Then, readers will vote on which one should be crowned Service Person of the Year.
This year's winner will be honored in the Argus-Courier and at the 2013 Petaluma Community Awards of Excellence on March 14.
The earlier a nomination is submitted, the greater chance the nominee has to become a Service Person of the Week.