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'A small thing can be huge': Hy-Vee greeter leaves warm impression on customers amid end-of-year madness

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Posted at 11:38 AM, Dec 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-23 16:04:15-05

SHAWNEE, Kan. — A special employee at Hy-Vee on 63rd Street in Shawnee is bringing a bit of cheer to the end of the year.

Customers say Becky Lourie’s chirpy voice and smiley face make their shopping experience more personal.

“You might have come in here just zoned [out] ... but somebody smiles and says hi —a smile can go a long way,” said shopper Cheryl Kennedy.

In Lourie's corner of the entrance, customers can always find a list of fun facts for conversation starters and a bench where strangers can sit and share their stories.

“Many people don’t get acknowledged, and by me acknowledging them, it just brings a bit of joy to their lives, I mean for the split second,” Lourie said.

She says human connection, to see and to be seen, makes all the difference.

And with increased traffic due to year-end festivities, John Lewis, Hy-Vee's district store director, says Lourie's positivity sets the right tone.

Come rain, snow or sleet, shoppers can always count on a bit of sunshine at the entrance.

“Just a small thing can be huge," Lourie said.