Caryl Mattioli dresses up for holidays. Not in the traditional sense. But everyone looks forward to seeing what she will wear.
Whatever the holiday, LDF Country Market customers and teammates know it’s coming. They ask when she will show up to work in costumes themed for the approaching holiday. This season is no different. And, while we don’t know exactly what she will be wearing for Christmas, we can get a hint by what she’s done in the past. Most recently, she dressed up as a pilgrim for Thanksgiving.
Working as a cashier for the LDF Country Market, she sees dressing up for the holidays as her small part of bringing some joy to a world impacted by the pandemic. She’s showed up for work dressed as a pilgrim and fall leaves and turkey decorations. She’s worked Halloween as a cat, lady bug and witch. For Easter season, she’s checked out customers groceries dressed as cute stuff, like bunnies.
Does this sound like the behavior of someone who retired in 1999, after working as food service director for a hospital down state? If you know Caryl, it does. She lives minutes from the store with her husband who is retired and their Miniature Schnauzer dog, Molly, and their Thompson cat, Mew-Mew.
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Caryl is a steady, reassuring force within the store. Though she keeps everyone guessing about what fun dress-up she will wear for Christmas. Her influence on the transition from the old to new store cannot be overstated, LDF Country Market General Manager George Carfuel says.
“Everyone worked so hard to get the new store up and running and Caryl played an instrumental role in making it all happen,” George says. “She has become an unofficial mentor and trainer to new teammates. Her easy demeanor attracts lots of employees to join us.”
Over four years with the store, Caryl is open to sharing her experiences and job knowledge.
“It’s a win-win,” Caryl says. “I get to share what I know and help others understand the business and they get to improve and feel good about what they do for a living.”
George says Caryl is like having another coach on the field.
“We really appreciate her knowledge and willingness to share it with others without fear of someone else taking her job,” George says. “She gives of herself and her experience without hesitation and that helps keep the store running at top-notch.”
Caryl is in a high-risk category for COVID-19. Her leadership and bravery in this domain is impressive. She says her approach focuses on safety and sees the Country Market doing more than most stores to keep teammates and customers safe.
“There’s so much to love about my job, from the people to the breakfasts George makes for the team as a thank-you,” Caryl says. “The social aspect for me is valuable as I get older. Work helps keep me active and that’s important as I age.”
“I like to stay busy, and I feel part of the team,” Caryl shares. There’s a real sense of belonging and community feeling from customers to teammates. I feel like I have established good relationships with customers and teammates. I enjoy interacting with them, as much as I hope they do with me.”
So what will Caryl wear this holiday season? You will have to visit the store to see. But one thing is certain when Caryl is in the store. She will do all she can to make teammates and customers feel welcome and enjoy their experience at the LDF Country Market.