If you’ve walked into Bountiful Bread in the last 6 years and have encountered a bubbly, friendly blonde— then, you’ve probably met Sue, and she definitely remembers you. “I take great pride in knowing each one our customers by name. It makes people feel special and, to be honest, I truly care about making someone’s day.” This statement alone in the restaurant and hospitality industry is a rarity— especially from a seasoned vet like Sue— but she is one of the reasons why Bountiful Bread is as loved as it is. So for those who do not know Sue, as well as she might know you, here’s a sneak peek at the woman that has taken customer service to a whole new level.
“I have been working in the food service industry for years. There’s a comfort within food that I truly enjoy being a part of.” Sue’s seemingly permanent smile starts to spread across her face. Her energy is contagious. There’s no wonder that she is one of the leaders, as a Shift Supervisor, at Bountiful Bread. “I have worked in local pizzerias, national chains, and small businesses and I can tell you that Bountiful Bread is unparalleled. We truly take pride in what we make and serve our guests. Being so integrated within the company has given me a sense of appreciation for independent food service versus food chains— we’re authentic.”
Bountiful Bread is a local, gourmet eatery that is constantly evolving and growing within its community. “Change is necessary, you can’t fight it— you must embrace it.” Sue has been one of the key employees who has been on board with Bountiful through their transition into their remodeled space that has left some customers initially feeling cold. “I can understand why people might have felt that way originally. We went from a “living room” type setting, equipped with carpeted floors and a fireplace to an entirely different look and feel. It was a big transition for everyone, but it was definitely needed. I would say that the biggest hurdle that we encountered was reeducating the consumer on Bountiful Bread’s principles, what/how we serve and how we have maximized our efficiency for our customers.” As with anything, or place, staying stagnant—will ultimately hurt any business, however Bountiful’s values have remained the same throughout its 20-year run.
“I would love to see a second location for Bountiful Bread! Troy is rapidly expanding, and I think that we would fit in there effortlessly. People love that we are an independent bakery and that we support other local businesses. I personally love that we don’t add preservatives in our foods. It’s good food. Everything this made from scratch every single day and it makes all the difference.” Supporting other small businesses and like-minded organizations and charities has been a staple in Bountiful’s community outreach from the very beginning— and will continue to be.
When Sue isn’t memorizing customer’s names, she’s supporting other local initiatives such as restaurants, bands and other community-driven events. “I love Albany, so I am really big on eating and supporting local. As they say— eat local, be local!” As for advice for those debating on pursuing a career in hospitality, Sue’s words are simple: pay attention. “Working in a kitchen ignites your five senses— learn from that. Apply learning about prep work as life lessons to be used elsewhere. Everything comes full circle and this knowledge will undoubtedly benefit you for the rest of your life. And, always, service with a smile; life is hard enough as it is, treat every customer with kindness and as an individual— it’s truly a service industry.”