Leo Braido has been gunning for IGA’s coveted five-star rating ever since he bought the Oberlin store in 2014 — and now he’s got it.
“It’s the highest you can go,” he said Friday after the West Lorain Street grocery location qualified as an IGA Five-Star Retailer for 2017.
The award is not about extensive renovations or profit margins. It’s given to stores where “customers are encountering exceptional shopping experiences,” the company said.
Top marks came for training, cleanliness, food safety, and mostly importantly community involvement.
Braido is a member of the Oberlin Rotary and serves on the board of the Oberlin Business Partnership. He also sits on the Oberlin Community Services board and donates a great amount of product each week to the nonprofit, which passes it along to residents in need.
The award is a tribute to his workers, Braido said.
He’s been in the food industry more than 30 years, serves on the board of directors of the Ohio Grocers Association, and said he loves working in Oberlin.
“I enjoy every minute. It’s a blast,” he said. “My worst day here is still a great day.”
There are 85 IGA stores in Ohio. Only 28 earned five-star status for the year.
In Lorain County, Schilds IGA Foodliner of Grafton also earned the accolade.
Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.
Jason Hawk | Oberlin News-Tribune Leo Braido and Oberlin IGA have been honored with the grocery chain’s highest rating. “They were looking for the best of the best,” he said.