By Ryan Gueningsman
DELANO, MN Coborn’s of Delano has been named the company’s “store of the year” for 2011.
The Delano store, led by Store Manager Joe Tipka and Assistant Store Manager Jason Zilka, was selected for its operational excellence, financial performance, and commitment to customer satisfaction, according to a press release from Coborn’s Inc. of St. Cloud.
“Coborn’s stores operate on pillars of service, quality, convenience, and promotional excitement,” said Coborn’s Chief Operating Officer Bob Thueringer. “Over the past year, the Delano store has embraced these pillars and made them integral components of their daily operations.”
Year-to-date, the store boasts the highest customer-ranked scores for the quality of its produce, bakery, meat, and deli products among the company’s 29-store Coborn’s division. Each of these departments exceed 90 percent customer satisfaction.
The store also touts a nearly 92 percent overall customer satisfaction rating, as scored by customers.
“Joe and his team truly take pride in serving their customers,” said Coborn’s District Manager Bruce Miller. “They hold themselves accountable to the highest standards of performance, they look for improvement opportunities, and they recognize each other for a job well done. I’m incredibly proud of their team and their commitment to serving the Delano community.”
Coborn’s employees participate in more than six volunteer organizations in the Delano area, and give generously to numerous charitable causes.
This year, the Coborn’s store in Delano has sponsored multiple community events, including Taste of Delano and various Delano Area Chamber of Commerce events. The store regularly donates product to the Helping Hands food shelf. It also raised more than $4,400 through its annual Delano Loretto Area United Way campaign for 2012.
“It’s great to hear that Coborn’s has been named store of the year,” said Delano Area Chamber of Commerce President Adam Kleve. “This comes shortly after being awarded the 2011 business of the year by the Delano Area Chamber of Commerce. Coborn’s commitment to improving Delano and helping support local organizations is amazing. We are so thankful for their involvement, and applaud them for their achievement of being named the store of the year within their company.”
Tipka said he and his staff love making Coborn’s a fun place to shop and work, and enjoy extending that into the community.
“The Delano community has been very good to us and we are pleased to be able to serve them with the best in freshness, quality, and customer service every day,” Tipka said.
“It’s my team that actually deserves this honor,” he added. “Without them, it wouldn’t be possible to have this award.”
Tipka, who has been the store manager in Delano for the last four-and-a-half years, said some changes have been made for the positive, which he feels have brought the store to “the next level.”
“Going forward, that’s our goal to continue to grow with the community and continue to bring the store standards up to what the people want,” he said.
Coborn’s has been in Delano since December 2001, and presently employs 128 people, 28 of which are full-time.
“What it really came down to is community,” Tipka said. “What we give back, and how we present ourselves within this community, and how we promote ourselves within this community. That’s one thing we’re real proud of is being in Delano and making sure we continue to be that family-run grocery store down the street.”
Tipka said the residents of Delano and the surrounding area continue to support the store, making it a win-win.
“There’s a lot of hometown people that live here and have the opportunity to work here,” Tipka said. “It’s a great community to be a part of and live in, raise your kids, and to run a business in. All those equal up to a lot of happy employees.”
The Delano Coborn’s location has not been recognized as store of the year before, nor named runner-up. This year’s runner-up is the company’s St. Joseph location.
Looking to 2012, Tipka said the Delano store is looking at adding authentic, made-to-order sushi soon, among other things.
“We’ve also got a lot of different things coming up in 2012,” Tipka said, adding that the store is possibly going to add a coffee shop.
Another thing customers will notice will be the elimination of having to push shopping carts out into the parking lot with the groceries in 2012, Coborn’s in Delano will begin carry-out service.
“Your groceries will be bagged and carried out right to your car for the convenience of the customer,” Tipka said.
This year, Coborn’s also completed a store decor remodel, and Tipka said it gave the building a more up-to-date, warmer feel.
“I think the customers enjoy it probably as much as the employees,” Tipka said. “It really enhances the store.”
“Joe and his staff at Coborn’s have put a premium on high quality foods, customer service, and community involvement, and it shows,” said Coborn’s President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Coborn. “The Delano Coborn’s team is very deserving of this esteemed recognition.”
Coborn’s, Inc., owns and operates 42 Coborn’s, Cash Wise, and Save-A-Lot grocery store locations, along with convenience, liquor, and video stores and pharmacies in the upper midwest. Coborn’s, Inc., is an employee-owned company, with more than 6,700 employees in six states, and is based in St. Cloud.