Stewart’s Shops give employees bonuses

Rashad Turner, manager at the Stewart's Shop on Van Vranken Avenue in Schenectady, makes a sandwich  on Nov. 12, 2021.

Rashad Turner, manager at the Stewart's Shop on Van Vranken Avenue in Schenectady, makes a sandwich  on Nov. 12, 2021.

Rashad Turner, manager at the Stewart’s Shop on Van Vranken Avenue in Schenectady, smiled as one by one, customers walked up to him at the cash register late Friday afternoon.

He’s happy working at Stewart’s, he said, during a quick break at one of the inside tables at the store.

One of the best parts of working for the company is the way it treats its employees, he said. That’s why he was even more delighted to find out he will be getting an additional week’s worth of pay from the company.

Stewart’s announced Friday that it was providing bonuses to 4,900 of its full-time and part-time employees — called partners — as a way to say thank you for their hard work during the pandemic.

“Our committed partners and vertical integration allowed us to keep our shops open and provide essential food and fuel,” said Gary Dake, the president of the company in a press release. “We can’t thank our partners and customers enough for their patience, cooperation and following of strict Covid protocols throughout the pandemic. This bonus is our way of sharing our success and saying thank you to all of our partners.”

Most employees received the equivalent of an additional week’s worth of pay, according to the release. Those who started in September received $100.

The timing of the bonus was perfect too, said Turner, who left Wendy’s two years ago to work at Stewart’s because of the great benefits.

He plans to buy gifts for people with the money.

“I know my grandma couldn’t leave the house during the pandemic, so I’m going to do some shopping for her too,” he said.

This isn’t the first time Stewart’s has thanked its employees during the pandemic. He said not too long ago they gave employees gift cards to use in the store.

“It’s a phenomenal thing,” he said.

Throughout the entire pandemic, Turner said Stewart’s has been very communicative and willing to ensure their employees’ safety.

“It was amazing honestly,” he said. “I think Stewart’s was there for us overall.”

That great relationship is why Turner said he could see himself retiring as a Stewart’s employee. At the Van Vranken location he’s even made the store more community-friendly, with one news board for just plain community news and another bulletin board for news related Zoller Elementary School. Turner attended the school as a kid and thanks his 5th-grade teacher Christian Borger for keeping him on track in life.

The board, Turner said, is his way of giving a little back to the community.

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