Faces of Fauquier: Singing welcomes Wawa customers
“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.
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.
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.
Husband, Mychal; daughter, Brailly; stepson, Josh.
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?
• 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.
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