The Petaluma community has voted and named Lakeville Street Lucky Supermarket checker Carole Quan as the 2013 Service Person of the Year.
"It's such an honor to have won this," said Quan. "I'm overwhelmed and completely speechless. I feel like I've won the lottery."
A cashier for Lucky for 23 years, Quan's love for her job and friendly personality have helped make the store feel more like a neighborhood market instead of a large retailer.
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.
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.
"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.
"Carole is kind, generous and helpful to every customer despite long hours on her feet every day," said one regular customer of the store.
"This is the most exciting thing that has happened to me in a very long time," said Quan. "I'm just so happy."
Quan will be honored as the 2013 Service Person of the Year at the Petaluma Community Awards of Excellence ceremony to be held from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. March 14 at the Sheraton Sonoma County-Petaluma Hotel, 745 Baywood Drive in Petaluma.
For more information call the Petaluma Area Chamber of Commerce at 762-2785.