Five finalists in the Checkout Operator of the Year for FreshChoice and SuperValue Supermarkets congregated in the adrenaline capital of New Zealand, (QUEENSTOWN of course)  in late November to prepare for their final assessments - what a place to meet!

Once their final testing was completed and the results were being calculated by the judges, the contestants  (who had been invited to attend  the 2013 SuperValue / FreshChoice Conference Dinner later that evening) were given some time off to explore and relax - in other words have a well earned rest.

Imagine the excitement while they were out and about enjoying the sights of Queenstown when they met the famous Sam Neil.  Even more exciting he took the time to stop, chat and have photographs taken with them which I am sure they will treasure for many years to come.

At the beginning of the dinner, (which was held in the Ben Lomond Restaurant at the Rydges Lakeland Resort, Queenstown) those attending were given a brief overview on what the actual competition entailed and how the overall results would assist in the future training of Checkout Operators throughout the group.  The 5 contestants were then individually introduced and given a warm welcome.

At last the waiting was over for this dedicated bunch of 5 - the winner was finally announced - Shelley Herman from FreshChoice Nelson took 1st place.

Shelley spoke enthusiastically of her experience during the competition and thanked FreshChoice Nelson Owner/Operators (Mark & Veronica) for the opportunity to participate in this amazing event.  She also thanked the rest of her colleagues at FreshChoice Nelson for their support and encouragement throughout the store and regional competitions.

Runners up this year were Holly Watts from Milton SuperValue, second place  and Bev Weal from FreshChoice Leamington, third place - a great effort and congratulations to them both.

To Olivia Denning from Methven SuperValue and Epi Opetaia from Flatbush SuperValue ,who both reached the National Finals - what a fantastic achievement - well done.