When FreshDirect’s preparations to relocate its headquarters to the South Bronx coincided with Bronx Week in 2014. I conducted interviews with several of their employees that were also Bronx residents that had been invited to the Bronx Week Ball by FreshDirect for placement as an advertorial in the New York Daily News. 

This piece originally ran May 14, 2014.

FreshDirect celebrates Bronx Week

Bronx Week is a perfect time for online, fresh-food grocer FreshDirect to celebrate a community it values, as well as some of its outstanding employees.

Bronx Week is a perfect time for online, fresh-food grocer FreshDirect to celebrate a community it values, as well as some of its outstanding employees. In addition to participating in community events throughout the borough, the company is hosting a group of employees from the Bronx at the Bronx Ball on May 17 in appreciation of their exceptional work. As FreshDirect prepares to move its headquarters to the Bronx, let’s meet some of these outstanding local employees.

Eddie Marrero is a depot driver who first moved to the Bronx in 1984. Marrero, who had a commercial driver’s license, but was working in a completely different field, saw a FreshDirect truck drive by one day and decided to learn more about the company. He was hired as a route driver in 2006.

For eight years Marrero has been a valuable member of the FreshDirect team and is proud of his commitment to the online grocer and the quality, professional delivery service it provides to its customers.

“Sometimes, they’ve had a bad day,” he says. “But you come deliver their groceries with a smile and you change their day.”

Raymond Talovera agrees with that sentiment. A truck driver for FreshDirect, Talovera said that he always likes to greet customers with a smile because “smiling is contagious. Customer service is No. 1.”

Talovera, who also resides in the Bronx, came to work for FreshDirect a year ago after seeing an ad that announced the company was hiring.

“Out there the jobs are few or none and FreshDirect is a hiring company that gives everyone an opportunity,” he says.

Talovera appreciates the opportunity FreshDirect provides, as well as the company’s commitment to employee safety.

“Every morning one of the managers always talks to you and tells you the safety tip of the day,” he says. “And we always discuss safety as the most important thing.”

With 10 years of experience as a truck driver, Talovera cites his employer’s involvement with the community as another reason he enjoys his job.

“FreshDirect is a great company – very community oriented, and always has its hand in every event that goes on and helps our community very much,” he says.

Harry Velez has been with FreshDirect since 2008 when he started as an associate in the shipping department before eventually being promoted to supervisor. A lifelong Bronx resident, Velez’s advancement at the company was helped in part by FreshDirect’s training program, and since then, he’s been paying it forward.

“Since I’ve been there, I think I’ve gotten at least six people promoted to team leader,” Velez says.

As the online grocer prepares to relocate its headquarters to the South Bronx, its employees are also ready to celebrate and welcome their employer as a neighbor.

“It’s wonderful,” Talovera says. “It’s an opportunity. It’s a growing business and it’s jobs for the Bronx. More employment opportunities for the community, which the community does need.”

Velez says, “I’d like for everyone in the Bronx to basically know that you can come to FreshDirect and have a career. Because I came from the Bronx, I grew up here my whole life, and FreshDirect gave me a shot.”

Marrero says, “They’re trying to do what any other business does: They’re trying to grow, trying to provide, and I don’t see it being a bad thing. I’m welcoming them to come to the Bronx.”

Read full advertorial from source here.