News Release
 October 12, 2016
CONTACT: Kathy Romanowski

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. – Tops Friendly Markets, a leading full-service grocery retailer in New York, northern Pennsylvania, western Vermont, and north central Massachusetts is excited to announce three finalists from their Western New York stores will advance to the state finals for the 31st Annual National Grocers Association Best Baggers competition. This year, 12 Tops associates stepped up to the challenge at the Tops store located at 355 Orchard Park Road in West Seneca) on Saturday, October 1. Contestants were scored on speed, proper bag building technique, distribution of weight between bags, and style, attitude, and appearance. Each associate had the opportunity to bag two rounds, all in reusable bags. The scores for each round were then added together to determine the winners.

The three individuals who came out on top were: First Place Winner- West Region: Destinee Ryan from the Orchard Park store located at 3201 Southwestern Blvd. Destinee is a resident of Lackawanna. First Place Winner- East Region: Nicole Schell from the Dewitt store located at 4600 East Genesee St. Nicole is a resident of Dewitt. Second Place Winner- Overall: Sabrina Martone from the Elmira store located at 1600 Cedar St. Sabrina is a resident of Elmira/Horseheads.

The three associates will now go on to represent Tops Friendly Markets in the New York State Bagging Competition being held in Albany, NY on Saturday, November 5. The winner at the State level will then earn a chance to compete at the National Grocer's Convention in Las Vegas, NV this February. The first National Grocers Association (NGA) Best Bagger Contest had only two contestants, was held in Dallas, Texas in 1987, and was called the "Texas/Oklahoma Checkout-Shootout." Since then, the NGA has been bringing the country's finest baggers together to determine who is “the best of the best.” NGA's Best Bagger Competition was created to promote the grocery store industry’s devotion to exceptional customer service through superior bagging.

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Tops Markets, LLC, is headquartered in Williamsville, NY and operates 172 full-service supermarkets with five additional by franchisees under the Tops banner. Tops employs over 16,000 associates and is a leading full-service grocery retailer in New York, northern Pennsylvania, western Vermont, and north central Massachusetts. For more information about Tops Markets, visit the company's website at


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