Hy-Vee employee hopes to make all shoppers comfortable

WORTHINGTON -- It's all about bringing the community together. At least that's what Maria Valle believes. Valle is a new addition to the Hy-Vee team in Worthington. As a greeter and Spanish translator for the grocery store, Valle hopes to bring t...

Maria Valle is now working as a greeter and Spanish translator at the Worthington Hy-Vee. Kristin Kirtz/Daily Globe

WORTHINGTON - It’s all about bringing the community together.

At least that’s what Maria Valle believes. Valle is a new addition to the Hy-Vee team in Worthington.
As a greeter and Spanish translator for the grocery store, Valle hopes to bring the community together and allow anyone, no matter where they come from, to be comfortable shopping at the Worthington store.
“Everyone is important, and when you walk into Hy-Vee, you should know you are going to get good customer service,” Valle said. “Here you are going to be treated how you should be treated no matter who you are. … I just want everyone to feel comfortable shopping here.”
Valle moved to Worthington with her mother and siblings from Guatemala when she was 9 years old. Looking back on how hard her family had to work to learn English and other skills to make it here in the U.S., Valle is so thankful for her mother who pushed her to do so.
“I’m so thankful I’m in the United States,” Valle said. “My mom told me that if you come to this country, you have to become something better than you were meant to be in Guatemala. She told me that (I) have to learn how to speak English, do something with my life and go to school. She told me I could be anything I wanted to be because we were in a free country.”
Now, at age 30, Valle is doing exactly what she loves to do - helping others. At Hy-Vee she is assisting the community to find comfort in living and shopping here - especially those who cannot speak English.
“This job was a good opportunity for me to help anyone who needs help, and that is rewarding and makes me happy,” Valle said. “I’m just so blessed to be working in a place that wants to help people. Hy-Vee really focuses on giving back to the community.”
Valle is excited to see the progress the store has made since her arrival. She is making it a priority to make sure Spanish-speaking customers know of all the special perks one can receive from shopping at Hy-Vee. She does this by announcing store specials over the intercom in Spanish, being available to explain the fuel-saving program the chain store offers and even getting more food products that appeal to the Hispanic community.
Zach Shank, Worthington Hy-Vee’s store director, hired Valle because of her personality and ideas she had to help Hy-Vee connect more with the diverse community.
“I can’t wait to see what Maria can do in the future, working to bring Hy-Vee and our diverse community together,” Shank said.
“He is always willing to to listen to my ideas,” Valle said. “When I told him we should have some more products for Hispanic people, he just said, ‘Sure.’”
Valle said she is excited to continue her work with Hy-Vee and thankful for the chance to help even more community members who walk through the store’s doors.

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