November 12, 2009 in Washington Voices

Deer Park teen can bag with the best of them

National competition in Vegas is next stop
Pamela J.S. Smith
Colin Mulvany photo

Glenn Cragun, who works at Yoke’s in Deer Park, is Washington’s grocery bagger of the year. At February’s national competition in Las Vegas, she has the chance to win $10,000.
(Full-size photo)

Glenn Cragun of Deer Park is not your typical 17-year-old. She graduated from an online high school two years ahead of schedule with a 3.94 GPA, and when it comes to groceries, she definitely has it “in the bag.”

Cragun represented her employer, Yoke’s Foods, on Oct. 9 at the annual Washington State Grocers bagging competition in Tacoma. To get there, she had to first win the Yoke’s employees competition held in Deer Park, then, the Spokane regional. She was one of only a handful of contestants representing Eastern Washington and the youngest contestant at the statewide competition. To many people’s surprise, she won.

“I am really proud of Glenn, long before I realized that she won,” said John Bole, president and CEO of Yoke’s Foods.

“It was overwhelming,” said Deby Cragun, Glenn’s mother, of the competition in Tacoma. “It was a great learning experience and growing experience.”

Glenn Cragun however, has not been overwhelmed by the contest or the attention it has given her, “I loved it,” she said. Bole said Cragun “was very focused and classy, with lots of poise for someone that young,” during the state competition.

In February, Cragun will compete in the national bagging competition in Las Vegas for a $10,000 prize.

She is already eagerly practicing two hours a day. “I use the first check stand,” she said. “We never open that one.” She has two boxes of the “old, tall paper bags” set aside for practice. Competitors are judged on time and bag weight. Then, the judges cut open the side of the bag and see if everything will still stand up, she says.

Looking past nationals, Cragun has high hopes for the future: She wants to be a country western singer. Although she delayed starting classes due to the upcoming competition, Cragun is hoping to take music classes this spring at Spokane Falls Community College.

“I’m thrilled to death for her,” her mother said. “She’s a very motivated person.”

Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email