Brandy Lucas grew up in York, South Carolina. She moved to Heath Springs 14 years ago with her fiancé. At the time she didn’t know exactly what she would do in her career, however, she had always worked with the public and always enjoyed it. She started working at Smalls Food Center in the pricing department thirteen years ago and recently was promoted to store manager last year. Brandy says, “Everything just kind of fell into place, I’ve always loved working with the public, and now I love meeting customers and getting to watch them grow and to make that lifelong relationship in my town.”
Brandy has done everything to ensure Smalls stayed open and operating smoothly during the entire Coronavirus pandemic. She shows up every morning at 4:00 a.m. and even adjusted the normal business by an extra hour so that her staff, along with her, would have time to completely sanitize and stock the shelves for their customers. The extra hour has also given the elderly customers a chance to call ahead and have the staff shop for them so that they don’t even have to come into the store. Her customers are her biggest priority and this extra effort helps keep them safe. Brandy told us a story about a lady that had called from Lancaster who needed groceries but could not actually enter the store because she was 85 and had just had knee surgery. So, Brandy and her team gathered this lady’s groceries and took them to her car to ensure her safety alleviate her very valid concerns.
Brandy says staying open during the pandemic has been extremely stressful because she fears for her two children when she goes home. Even though her two girls have stayed home, Brandy comes into contact with hundreds of people a week that may have the virus. Even though they have taken many precautions like wiping every register down after each customer comes through, wearing mask, having shields at registers, and keeping people six feet apart, she says it still hasn’t completely stopped the fear customers and her team experience because there still has to be a certain amount of closeness and contact in the store. In addition, constant governmental changes in protocol add to the stress level. Having to limit customers to a specific number of items like toilet paper, paper towels, and cleaning supplies is one of the biggest challenges in the store. Unfortunately, this needs to be done to make sure everyone has access to these essential items.
When Brandy does have some time off, she spends it with her fiancé and her two 11-year-old daughters, staying at home and doing things like arts and crafts. Being away from her family for longer periods of time than she is used to has been the hardest thing she has had to deal with.
Brandy would like everyone to remember that when entering the grocery store to remember to wear your mask and take the necessary precautions to better protect yourself and the people who serve you so it will make their job a little less stressful. I am sure all of you feel the same as we do that this simple request is not very much to be asked of us to. Thanks to Brandy and her team for taking care of us.