Where are you from?
When did you start working for the company?
I started working for Auntie Anne's on July 21, 2003, one month after I graduated high school.
What are the best parts of your job? Why do you love it?
The best parts of the job for me would be working with my team. They provide a great, friendly environment and make work more fun. I also like dealing with people. I believe my job is to turn someone's frown upside down and I always try to accomplish that each and every day. Last but not least, I love the responsibility and tasks I have to accomplish each and every day. They keep me focused and some tend to challenge me in certain areas I may need to improve on.
What's the best experience you've had on the job?
The best experience I've had on the job would have to be when I made an older lady cry! And I mean that in a good way. She came in to my store and she ordered a raisin pretzel. She looked a little down so I asked her if everything was okay. In a soft spoken and disappointed tone she said, "No I am not. I cannot seem to find the shoes that I need and I've looked everywhere and I'm tired of walking around." So I decided to give her that raisin pretzel for free to try and make her feel better. When I told her that the pretzel was on me, she looked at me like it was the nicest thing anyone had ever done for her. She began to cry and repeatedly kept saying, "Thank you, thank you so much. You made my day." That moment reminded me that business is not always about trying to make the most money. Sometimes it's just about understanding your customer and what they're going through and relating to them to on a personal level. That's when true customer service happens. I'll never forget that moment.
What do you like to do for fun?
I love playing basketball. I've played it since I was little. It keeps me active and I always get a good sweat from it.
What did you learn about yourself from the experience?
To be more confident in my decision making moving forward. I understand at times we will make mistakes along the way, but it's better to be confident in your decisions than to be indecisive and making a decision "just because." Every decision you make is not about what to do, but who you are. And that's something that I want to stay true to.
What was the toughest part of the process for you?
The anticipation of the unknown and not knowing what was happening next or the result of my performance. I kept thinking, "What now?" and "What am I supposed to expect?" It did make me a little nervous, but of course that's expected from people put in a situation like this. I really enjoyed the experience.
How has being on the show changed your life and your family's life?
My wife and I have become a lot more cohesive in making decisions and working together as a team. We understand that there will be many decisions we will have to make along the way and it is important for us to work together to make the right ones. Our relationship is even stronger and we're in a good place right now. I look at the economy a little more in depth now and think about demographics and unemployment rates in certain areas. I think about what I've learned being a manager and how I can use some of my experiences to help myself along the way. I'm sure it will change my life.
How has your work life changed? How do you like your new opportunity?
I really like this opportunity. Since early high school it had been a goal of mine to own my own store of some kind. I'm excited to turn the page and start a new chapter in my family's life.
Would you have done anything different during the competition?
I don't think I would've done anything different as far as my performance was concerned, because I want to stay true to myself, but if there were anything I would have done differently, it would have been to have better answers during the interviews. I feel I could have done better at that. There were so many times where I felt speechless. I felt like I gave a lot of the same answers.