This is not really about mold or gold, rather about doing the “right” thing and good customer service. Nearly a month ago, I had picked up my daughter from basketball practice and stopped to get some fuel. Knowing we were over due for the grocery store and that it would be a challenge to make a few school lunches for the following day, I ran into the mini-mart at the gas station to get two submarine sandwiches. Ten minutes later, I was in my driveway with a car full of fuel and headed inside with lunches taken care of for two of my kids.
Recognizing that my son can’t eat cheese, I opened the sandwich wrapping so I could correctly identify the respective lunches. That is when I spotted the mold on the bread. It was really obvious and in the exact same location on each sandwich. I fed a bit of the meat to my dogs and tossed the rest in the trash, but not before snapping a few pictures and searching the internet for contact information for the mini-mart company.
I found the link, typed my complaint and clicked submit. Frustrated that I now had to make an immediate trip to the grocery store, I felt a sense of relief that I was quickly able to relay my issue to the company; however, I was skeptical that I would receive a response that would mitigate the inconvenience. I should add that I did call the mini-mart and a nice lady directed me to return to the store and she would replace the sandwiches. While a polite, albeit predictable response, if I was headed anywhere that night it was going to be to the grocery store to tackle our food needs for the week.
Fast forward to 10:15 the next morning when I received a call at work from the public relations manager of this mini-mart chain (well known in the Maryland area). She was kind, appropriately and sincerely apologetic and offered to send gift cards that exceeded the value of the sandwiches in addition to some decent coupons toward future purchases. I had a nice conversation with her and thanked her for her very timely handling of my complaint. Several days later, I received the gift cards, coupons and a note.
I understand enough about the food industry to recognize that mold happens. I believe in this case, the mold was a bit too obvious to have made it out the door with a customer but I get that this can happen. It is a difficult business and everyone deserves a second chance and an opportunity to right a wrong. I wasn’t about to write this mini-mart off my list with a plan never to return; but this PR manager did the “right” thing and that is a guarantee that her company will keep my family coming back. That’s the gold!