Yesterday marked the 26th Annual Best Bagger Competition sponsored by the National Grocers Association but this year was the first time that Congressman Reid Ribble (R-WI) was invited. He participated in the competition going head to head with the crowned national best bagger, Stephanie Teteak.
“This is not my profession” Rep. Ribble said to an ABC reporter, “I knew I was going to lose.” Rep. Ribble jokingly flashed around his “honorary” best bagger trophy claiming, “I’m a little offended, they must’ve known I was going to lose.”
Though facing a tough defeat, it was all in good fun as Rep. Ribble’s opponent is a bagger at his own local Larry’s Piggly Wiggly Grocery Store in Kaukauna, Wisconsin. Though he is just a novice bagger the, Congressman said, “It would be fun to make this Congressional Competition a tradition.”
Championship bagger Stephanie Teteak has been vying for the national title of Best Bagger for almost ten years at the NGA Show in Las Vegas. This year, she succeeded, winning $10,000, the “Golden Grocery Bag” trophy and the Pan-Oston “Best Bagger Golden Lane,” a custom checkout stand that will be placed in her store.
“It matters. You know, a lot of people don’t take it seriously, but it’s really the most important job in the store,” Teteak said. “The impression you give the customer there is what you’re going to go home with.”
Teteak also appeared on “The Late Show with David Letterman” to showcase her bagging talent.
Rep. Ribble, who lives 12 minutes from the store where Teteak works, said he’s been shopping at Larry’s since 1996 and actually recognized Teteak.
“I didn’t connect the dots until I saw her on ‘Letterman,’ and I thought, ‘Oh man, I’m gonna get creamed,’” Ribble said.