A few minutes after the 9 a.m. break Monday (Oct. 28), employees at Stodola’s IGA in Luxemburg gathered to surprise a fellow worker with a big honor. They had to wait longer than expected, however, as the guest of honor was busy taking care of customers.

Allen Tipps, a carryout at Stodola’s IGA, had been selected by IGA Inc. at the national level as the winner of the October Employee of the Month award.

“I couldn’t think of a better person to earn this,” said store owner Alex Stodola. “Allen is a perfect example of IGA’s commitment to service.”

Allen was nominated by his fellow employees for his strong work ethic, being a team player, and going above and beyond in the community.

“Everyone knows Allen. Whether you see him up front bagging groceries, or at church holding the door, or riding his bike around town, Allen is always ready to help out,” Stodola said. “We’re lucky to have him.”

IGA, the Independent Grocers Alliance, has begun to roll out new efforts to recognize the talent and efforts at local independent markets with the slogan “Local = Fresh.” Telling the stories of how local employees stand out provides important examples for every IGA store nationwide.

After finishing his work and getting a big surprise on his way to the break room, Allen was beaming with pride.

“I can’t wait to tell my mom about this,” he said.

The moment was captured on video for Facebook.