MADISON–– The Wisconsin Grocers Association (WGA) will be recognizing Rick Estridge, owner of Wayne’s Foods Plus, for his outstanding contributions to the grocery industry in Wisconsin with the Excellence in Operations Award. Rick was nominated by Jason Nilssen, Rick’s business partner and owner of Nilssen’s Foods. The award will be part of a surprise announcement on Tuesday, August 25th at 1pm at Wayne’s Foods Plus, 26363 Lakeland Ave. S. in Webster.
This is the seventeenth year the WGA has presented the Excellence in Operations Award. “The award is intended to recognize store owners, managers and store directors in the grocery industry who are on the front-lines every day and instrumental in the success of their stores,” said Brandon Scholz, President & CEO of the WGA.
According to his nomination, Rick Estridge “has very high standards and is very committed to the grocery industry, his employees and customers. He is always looking for ways he can improve and make his stores and his employees better, working along-side everyone and always with a smile. He truly bleeds grocery!” Rick moved to Wisconsin to live with his aunt and uncle who owned Dick’s Supermarket in Danbury, WI and at the age of 11 started bagging groceries, stocking shelves, packaging produce and helping unload and hang meat. Wayne and Christa King Bought the Danbury store in 1975; Rick came with the store and eventually was named store manager. The Kings then purchased a store in Webster in 1978, and sent their best man, Rick, to manage it. When it came time for the Kings to build a new store in Luck in 1982, Rick was there lending his experience and expertise, and at that time was named the general manager for the three Wayne’s Foods Plus locations, which today he owns.
Grocery is in Rick’s blood; he believes in promoting his employees from within and training them to become grocers. He takes care of them like family, offering and creating many benefits for them, including health insurance. Just as he has for most of his life, you will still see Rick working side by side with his employees. Whether it’s stocking and washing shelves, manning the deli/bakery or running errands, there is nothing he won’t do for his employees, his customers and his community. He knows that without those three things, he doesn’t have a business.
Rick goes above and beyond in supporting the many community groups in Webster, Luck and Danbury. Whether he offers the store parking lot for car washes, cookie and wreath sales or donating to the schools, county/tribal K-9 and fire departments, Rick is ready and always willing to help. He has served on the Chamber Board of Directors as well as the Webster School Board in order to help facilitate decisions to keep the schools and communities strong.
His tremendous passion and love for the grocery industry, his employees and customers make Rick the ideal recipient for the WGA’s 2020 Excellence in Operations Award.