SAUK RAPIDS - In the parking lot of the very first Coborn's Grocery store the title of Best Bagger was contested. This was the 26th annual Best Bagger Contest for Coborn's, and it's a coveted title.

Contestants stood at tables full of predesignated grocery items. They were judged on bag-building technique, weight distribution, speed, style, attitude, and appearance.

This year 46 Coborn's employees participated in the competition. Third and second place went to Devon Garret and Cora Cummings from the Delano Coborn's store. They won $25 and $50 respectively.

Ian River's from Buffalo was this year's Best Bagger.
(Photo: Joshua Akkerman, WJON)

This year's Best Bagger Award goes to Ian Rivers from the Buffalo Coborn's store.

He says, "It's kind of shocking. I didn't come here with high expectations, but I am very grateful to be representing Coborn's in the state competition."

Rivers just started working with Coborn's just ten months ago. He said he came to the competition to have fun, and to see how he stacked up against the company's best baggers. He was awarded with $100 dollars, and now moves onto the state competition.

"That's got to be a little more nerve racking than this, but we'll see how we do," says Rivers.

He will be representing Coborn's at the Minnesota Grocers Associations's Best Bagger Contest. The state competition will be held in August at the Mall of America. Rivers will compete for a $500 prize, and the honor to move onto the National Grocers Association's Best Bagger Contest. It will be held in Las Vegas in February of next year. If Rivers heads to Las Vegas, he will be competing for a $10,000 prize.

Since 1989, five Coborn's employees have advanced to the National Competition.

Coborn's Best Bagger Competition.
(Photo: Joshua Akkerman, WJON)