Burholme’s Nancy Ostroff has been shopping at the Acme at 6640 Oxford Ave. since her mom pushed her in a cart as a child, and considers the store a home away from home.
Last November, though, the retired teacher was in no condition to shop after an automobile accident that left her with a broken wrist and serious ankle injury. On top of that, she was diagnosed with the coronavirus. She spent a lot of time in a hospital and rehab.
Her absence after several months did not go unnoticed.
Ostroff and assistant store director Sue Thomas are friendly, and Thomas called Ostroff to check on her wellbeing.
After learning of Ostroff’s accident, Thomas arranged for a delivery of groceries to her home.
“I called her to see how she was doing. I asked her what she needed, and that I’d shop for her,” Thomas said.
Thomas then had a better idea. She offered to pick up Ostroff, take her to the store to shop, then bring her back home.
“It was a wonderful thing to do,” Ostroff said.
That outreach continues seven months later, and Ostroff wanted to show her appreciation by more than simply sending a thank-you letter.
So last week, she arranged for Acme Mid-Atlantic Region president Jim Perkins, vice president Rena Shiles and district manager Bud Corry to visit the store so she could thank Thomas and store director Matt Smith. Everyone enjoyed a piece of a “Thank you Acme” cake.
Ostroff, who does not have much family in the area and didn’t want to inconvenience her friends, described the Oxford Avenue Acme as a small store with an “extremely huge heart.”
“This store literally became my family,” she said.
Ostroff, after retiring, volunteered at Crossan Elementary School. She credited Acme with contributing to the school’s fifth-grade luncheon, the graduation ceremony, play day, career day and Dr. Seuss day.
Perkins said Thomas is a typical Acme employee, one who has a long tenure with the company and puts the customer first. The boss, noting that “anybody can sell a can of corn,” presented Thomas with the prestigious President’s Award for her thoughtfulness.
“Sue really took the effort, and we really appreciate it,” he said.
In addition to Ostroff’s regular shopping days, Thomas will drop off a certain item at her house if she runs out.
Her bosses say her actions show you can make a difference in people’s lives. Shiles, a retired U.S. Army colonel, said Thomas and many others in the company are career employees who are on a mission to serve.
“Sue is by far one of the most giving people at Acme,” Smith said.
“She really is a good people person,” Corry said. ••