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January 5, 2016

Faces of Fauquier: Singing welcomes Wawa customers

Photo/Cassandra Brown
“I have no shame,” Kelly Kraft says. “I break into song. I sing any song that comes over the speaker.”
I couldn’t be in a cubicle. I love the interactions with people.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
She greets customers with a smile and a song.

For the last three years, Kelly Kraft, a manager at the Wawa convenience store in Warrenton, has brought enthusiasm to her workplace.

She brightens customers’ days by carrying a tune while she works.

“I have no shame,” Ms. Kraft says. “I break into song. I sing any song that comes over the speaker.”

Starting work at 4 or 5 a.m., she serves up breakfast items, coffee and sandwiches to help patrons during their morning rush.

“There’s nothing like seeing a person smile in the morning when they are grumpy,” Ms. Kraft said.

As a fresh food manger, she prepares made-to-order items including sandwiches, quesadillas and soups; stocks inventory, and directs team members.

She has the “natural ability to make the environment fun,” General Manager Martin Espinola said. She is “full of energy . . . and leadership.”

Her favorite part?

“When someone tells me thank you for coming in today or thank you for your enthusiasm,” Ms. Kraft said. “I’ve had people thank me for helping them get going in the morning.”

Ms. Kraft’s goals during her 45- to 50-hour week job include “making people smile, helping people. Making sure they are happy with the service we provide.”

She has worked at the convenience store at Frost and West Shirley avenues since it opened in 2012.

• Age

• Home

• Work
Full-time fresh food manager at Wawa in Warrenton for three years. Previously worked at a Wawa in New Jersey for a year and a half; former part-time elementary school employee in New Jersey for six years; former police officer in North Charleston City and Saint Stephen Police Departments in South Carolina for five years.

• Why do you do the job?
Because I love people. I couldn’t be in a cubicle. I love the interactions with people. I love Wawa’s standards. Valuing customers is one of their core values. I love it.

• Family
Husband, Mychal; daughter, Brailly; stepson, Josh.

• Education
R.B. Stall High School, South Carolina, 1984.

• How long have you lived in Fauquier?
About four years.

• Why do you live here?
I like the proximity of my work and Liberty High School, where my daughter went at the time.

• How do you describe this county?
A lot of farmland. I like that, and then the next minute you’re in traffic. It’s not the small town where I came from in New Jersey or the huge city I grew up in Charleston, South Carolina. I like it. It’s middle ground for me.

• What would you change about Fauquier?
The windy country roads when it snows. They’re scary.

• What do you do for fun?
Go to the movies, fish and watch football.

• What’s your favorite place in Fauquier?
There is an elderly couple who lives off Route 17 between Sumerduck and Bealeton, and they let us fish in their pond. It’s quiet there.

• What will Fauquier be like in 10 years?
Very built up. It seems like they are putting something on every corner these days. I hope it doesn’t lose that middle farm, country ground.

• Favorite TV show?
“Modern Family” and “ProFootballTalk”.

• Favorite movie?
“Wedding Crashers”

• Favorite book?
Anything by Nora Roberts.

• Favorite vacation spot?
My favorite place was when my grandparents were alive and we went to their lake house on Lake Moultrie, South Carolina.

• Favorite food?
Anything with chicken and broccoli. Homemade chili.

• What is the best advice you have ever received? From whom?
When my grandmother told me, “You always help people. If they are hungry, give them food, not money.” She also said, “Hard work never hurt anyone. Always have a good work ethic.”

• Who’s your hero and why?
My grandmother, Margie F. Cannon. She was the first woman magistrate in South Carolina. She did so much and helped raise us. She was an amazing woman. She paved the way for a lot of women in South Carolina.

• What would you do if you won $1 million in the lottery?
Build shelters for people and animals. Buy a piece of property and build a rescue place for animals. Help people I know are struggling and my family and pay off my debt.

Suggest a profile candidate

Do you know someone who lives in Fauquier County you would like to see in Faces of Fauquier? E-mail Cassandra Brown at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Editor Lou Emerson at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Previous Faces of Fauquier:

• NAACP leader James Kelly wants to contribute.

• Lora Gookin trades career as civil engineer for that of bakery owner.

• Remington Baptist Pastor David Blevins devotes himself to helping others.

• Civics a passion for Fauquier election poll worker Ben McCartney.

• Philip Mulford makes a career of the search for middle ground.

• “Midland to the bone,” says native Matthew Smith.

• Sherrie Carter’s creativity becomes her business.

• Starting her career, Liberty graduate Judy Heflin wants to be a great teacher.

• Social Services Director Jan Selbo has devoted her career to helping others.

• Jim Cirillo’s call to Casanova extended.

• Don’t tell Angela Deal, Ms. Wheelchair Fauquier, that she can’t do something.

• FHS graduate and business owner Cathy Dodson finds all she needs right here.

• Mike Harvey’s sweet work takes lots of sweat.

• Warrenton native Joan Williams still serving her community.

• Classic cars consume engineer Matt Innocenzi’s free time.

• Wood transformed in the hands of Edward Fox.

• Earl Arrington serves printing customers and his community.

• Michael Hughes wears music, threater and equestrian hats.

• Store in Goldvein part of Susan Leopold’s family legacy.

• County native Maggi MacQuilliam devoted to the great outdoors.

• Health care for the needy Rob Marino’s mission.

• Daphne Latimore focuses on human capital.

• Horses extend Louise Summers’ work as teacher.

• As volunteer coach, Jeff Budd develops young wrestlers.

• Fraces Allshouse’s jobs focus on preservation.

• Jessica Smolinski’s book introduces children to Old Town Warrenton.

• Margaret Rice’s job all about fitness and fun in Warrenton.

• Robert Sturgeon has built his 70-employee businesses in Bealeton from scratch.

• 4-H leader Zach Woodward relishes the lessons of farming.

• Hospital auxiliary volunteer Alison Lee also earned fame in drag racing circles.

• Highland School veteran staff member Lise Hicklin always wanted to teach.

• As 9-1-1 dispatcher, Kateland Rich works to maintain calm during crisis.

• Chaplain Liz Danielsen finds a giving community.

• 9-1-1 response in Rodney Woodward’s bloodline.

• Fast talk a tool of the trade for auctioneer Kathy Shumate.

• Sam Poles takes care of varmits.

• Diane King mentors student performers at Fresta Valley Christian School.

• Lewis F. Lee Jr. followed his father into taxidermy business.

• Edward Payne returns to Orlean and to photography with passion.

• Janet Metzger’s Old Town Warrenton shop a hub of creativity.

• Pablo Teodoro bakes to build community.

• Community trails have become passion for retired VDOT engineer Bob Moore.

• Teresa Reynolds makes transition from butcher to museum director.

• After working in New York and Italy, Christine Fox moved home to open fashion boutique 25 years ago.

• Steve Lewis develops hunting reality show on Dish Network.

• Julia Trumbo grew up in the family grocery business.

• Tax preparer Renée Turner enjoys owning a business in Old Town Warrenton.

• ICU staff Carol Jones values patients’ trust.

• Wilson Sanabria grew up working in his family’s Warrenton restaurant and learning to box.

• One-man band Peter Fakoury quit 9-to-5 to learn from children.

• Liberty graduate Brittany Aubrey works in the smile business.

• Walmart cashier Lulu Baer loves to play violin and several community roles.

• In Sandra Alm, SPCA dogs have a loyal companion.

• St. James’ Episcopal new Rector Ben Maas appreciates community’s embrace

• Bicycles dominate work and play for Brian Larson.

• Teaching music therapy combines Abigail Newman’s passions.

• Brenda Rich leads volunteers who organize and run the Fauquier County Fair.

• 1st Sgt. Greg Harris stresses empathy in his job as a supervisor at the county detention center.

• Chuck Tippett challenges the “rich guy” stereotype about pilots.

• County government employee Surja Tamang previously worked as a Mt. Everest sherpa.

• Woody Isaac found his calling as a chef at age 16.

• Horses take Tommy Lee Jones all over the county.

• Retired nurse Angela Neal continues to volunteer in hospital ER.

• Gilmer Lee really knows high school sports in Fauquier.

• Stage remains central to Tim Bambara’s life journey.

• Bus driver Melissa Strain’s weekend job all about “fun.”

• Bartender Taylor Edgar has a pretty good standup routine.

• A nomad childhood led Paul Schmeling to start a moving company.

• Adam Lynch’s family owns café with local food focus and a special name.

• Patricia McMahon Rice turns passion for art into her livelihood.

• Cindy D’Ambro works as “director of first impressions” at LFCC.

• Ginger Hilleary leads local literacy organization.

• Farmers with groundhog problems call Rod Kirkpatrick.

• Horses “retire” to work with Jeanne Blackwell.

• Remington cattle farmer Doug Linton loves his home and work.

• Sports central to Robert Glascock’s life’s work.

• For Richard Mast, company ownership started with his summer work as a teenager.

• Bernice Simpson knows northern Fauquier back roads and the people who live along them.

• Eddie Payne has logged 38 years as a volunteer firefighter in Marshall.

• Stephanie Layton turns her lifelong passion for dance into her livelihood.

• Shawn LaRue matches children and adoptive families.

• Biker and psychology major Clif Stroud makes music in a big way.

• Becky Crouch greets lots of visitors.

• She helped blaze trail to equality for black teachers.

• Family and food come first for Marshall pizzeria employee.

• Rural “closeness” of Fauquier appeals to Kansas native

• A “spoke” in the wheel of preservation.

• His job dovetails with passion for hunting

• Veteran educator sees the potential in every child.

• His passions: Fixing cars and helping people

• Habitat ReStore volunteer appreciates Fauquier’s diversity.

• Dad’s example led to new career at Fauquier Hospital.

• He lives and works in a beautiful place.

• The Goldvein firehouse ranks as his favorite place.

• Pretty things everywhere she looks.

• Through scouting, he encourages girls to explore.

• One day, he might run the company.

• FISH volunteer likes to help others.

• She sees the community’s generosity.

• Cop patrols while most people sleep.

• Pastor a constant in Calverton.

• She keeps the courthouse spotless.

• He loves working working outdoors at the park.

• She sees “everyone” at Carousel

• Library assistant works in a “fun place"

• Hat lady sets up shop in Old Town Warrenton

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