“Garrett Popcorn Shops® is an exciting place to work. And being a manager every day you do feel what you do matters, especially when you see the excitement on people’s faces. It’s very special and fun to be a part of it all.”
Chicago-area manager Mike Callaghan was named Garrett Popcorn Shops® Manager of the Year, the first time the award has been given. We sat down to ask him to share highlights from his seven years with the company:
You’ve worked at several Shops in Chicago over the years, are there differences between them?
“Shops have their own personality and the mix of employees makes each different — whether it’s an older group or a younger group. The customers change and the business flow is a little bit different. But at the end of the day, the goal is to make certain everyone is happy and leaves with the best gourmet popcorn around.”
Do you have a favorite Shop?
“I was the new manager when we opened Randolph seven years ago and it’s special to me because it was my first one. But no favorites…”
What do you like to see in the people who work with you?
“I want fun. We don’t have a script of what to say when a customer visits because we want everyone to be themselves. It’s so easy for employees at O’Hare, for example, because everyone shows up with a suitcase. Even if an employee is shy, it’s easy to come out of your shell there and ask “where are you going?” If you’re a people-person, this job is fun.”
You mentioned O’Hare, do you have a favorite travel story?
“Once at Michigan Avenue, I had a woman from France at the register. We were communicating by pointing at things because neither of us spoke the same language. It was a busy day and about 10 customers back there was a bilingual customer from France who came up and assisted. And it blew my mind that we had two people from that country in the same line on the same day. It was so cool. She ended up ordering The Chicago Mix.”
Speaking of flavors, which do you snack on?
“I’m a sweet person, without a doubt. However, I am partial to our CheeseCorn™. It is the one salty snack that I can’t stop eating. After seven years, I still cannot control myself. It’s crazy, you would think after so much time I would be like “no, no” but I still do love it.”
You’re a dad, what does your family think about your job?
“My girls know I’m the popcorn guy. They know what I do and they love it. My little one will pick the CaramelCris® out of The Mix now, my older daughter will eat anything and my wife likes Almond CaramelCrisp®. I’m looked at funny if I don’t bring The Chicago Mix to family parties, too.”
What’s your favorite part of working for Garrett?
“Every day is exciting and goes by very fast. It’s one of the big things I love. We are working with people, our own employees and customers, and if you like to work with people it’s the absolute perfect job. Every day there’s different aspects that go into one day at Garrett and keep it a very exciting place to work. I love it. I really do.”
Thanks Mike and congrats!