If you want to see just how impactful a single Meijer team member can be in their community, look no further than Joe Van Buren Jr at our Whitestown Parkway store in Zionsville, Ind. On at least two Zionsville neighborhood Facebook groups, he has an enthusiastic and devoted cheering section.
“You can be having a bad day or just stressed, and he always has a few words that can change your mood for the day,” shares one commenter.
“He is the best. We always look for him!” posts another community member.
“Just wanted to let y'all know that if you are in Meijer today, wish your favorite cashier, Joe, a Happy Birthday!!!,” shares a different member of the group.
“I lost count of the number of people who commented on what a great guy Joseph is,” commented another Facebook user. “Think about it. Is it common that a gajillion people knew the name of a man from the local grocery store? That says a lot about Joseph.”
The accolades say a lot about Joseph, but if you ask him, he would say he’s just being himself.
“I just like meeting new people,” Joe said. “If we don’t hit it off the first time, we’ll hit it off the third or fourth time. We become a little family of our own.”
Joe has been a cashier at Meijer for just under four years. He’s always been proud of his community and his customers, and it shows. One customer nominated him for the Final Four Indy Frontline Heroes Award… and he won!
His Facebook fan club put out the word ahead of time and some of them were there when Joe was presented with the award in March. Joe says he’s still processing the surprise but gives all the credit to his customers.
“This whole awards thing just came out of nowhere,” he said. “These people are a blessing. I have not seen such conscientious efforts to make a person feel welcome. The fact they would take the time out to be that considerate, it just reflects who they are.”
Even though Joe isn’t on Facebook, he made sure to get a thank you message out to all of those who support him.
“I treasure and always look forward to the short, uplifting conversations, warm smiles and sense of humor that many of you bring to the checkout lane,” he said. “It brings out the best in me.”