Hammond Walmart worker surprised with promotion at shareholders meeting in Arkansas | Northwest Indiana Business Headlines

Hammond Walmart associate Erika Ramirez got a big surprise when she was recently promoted on stage at the Walmart shareholders meeting in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Walmart Chief Operations Officer Chris Nicholas brought Ramirez on stage at the annual shareholders meeting, which drew thousands of people from around the world and featured a concert by Christina Aguilera.

“That’s the whole point of this bit — that it’s unexpected,” she said. “Because of her ability to solve problems and willingness to listen, she was promoted twice in a year. Isn’t that amazing? I understand from your team you really stand out as a servant leader. You love teaching and training people. You’ ve really grabbed the whole connected device and really driven that to make your associates’ lives better.”

Ramirez started as a maintenance associate at the Walmart supercenter by Cabela’s in south Hammond. She was promoted twice within a year after impressing management with her work ethic and drive to learn the store’s operations.

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She was promoted to frozen foods manager and then to a stocking team lead position. Nicholas promoted her to stocking team coach as the assembled crowd roared at Walmart’s corporate headquarters.

It caught her completely unawares.

“I was in a front row seat and was a little confused why I was down there, and then they called my name, went over my history with the company and promoted,” she said. “I got to be all over Walmart channels. I was Walmart famous.”

It was the Hammond resident’s first time on a plane to visit Northwest Arkansas for the shareholders meeting that hosts employees from even-numbered stores and odd-numbered stores in alternating years. They were briefed on new and upcoming happenings with the company.

“It’s the world’s largest pep rally,” she said. “People come in from Walmarts internationally and for all walks of life for meetings and different activities like a minor league baseball game and a Christina Aguilera concert. It was definitely more than I ever imagined.”

Ramirez started part-time at the store to get some extra cash and soon got promoted to a manager.

“I just enjoy the people,” she said. “I really love it.”

She’s been preparing for her new managerial role.

“I’ve been training at the academy,” she said. “It’s challenging, I’m not going to lie. But it’s rewarding. It’s definitely something I’ll remember for life.”

NWI Business Ins and Outs: Crumbl Cookies, Southlake Mall stores and StretchLab opening; Chop House on Wicker site slated for redevelopment

Opening

Freshly baked sweets and homemade ice cream are coming to Dyer, that’s just the way the proverbial cookie crumbles.

Crumbl Cookies, a fast-growing chain of cookie shops, will open its first Northwest Indiana location on July 1.

It will celebrate with a grand opening from 8 am to 10 pm where it will give away swag to its customers, said Derek Hincks with Crumbl.

Utah-based Crumbl moved into the 1,350-square-foot space formerly occupied by Game Stop in the shopping center anchored by Jewel-Osco at the corner of US 30 and Calumet Ave.

Crumbl offers more than 130 flavors of cookies, including milk chocolate chip, blueberry cheesecake, rocky road, honey bun, galaxy brownie, cookie butter ice cream, brownie fudge and cookie dough crunch. It frequently rotates flavors and serves up cookies either warm or chilled, depending on the flavor.


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Fast growing

Fast growing

The cookies come in four-pack, six-pack and 12-pack boxes that are available for takeout or delivery. The distinctive boxes are oblong and pink to be as Instagrammable as possible.

Crumbl also has half-pints of housemade ice cream in flavors like vanilla bean, cookie dough crunch and peanut butter brittle.

It was founded in 2017 by cousins ​​Sawyer Hemsley and Jason McGowan and has since experienced breakneck growth. It now has 300 stores in 36 states, including in Fishers, Indianapolis, Greenwood, Carmel, Bloomington and Evansville in Indiana.

For more information, visit crumblcookies.com, email [email protected] or call 219-440-2063.


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coming soon

coming soon

Cycle Gear is revving up to come to Southlake Mall in Hobart.

The California-based retailer sells gears, parts and accessories to motorcyclists. The company recently signed a lease with the super-regional mall at US 30 and Mississippi Street.

A spokesperson said it will open later this year, likely late in the fall, and be located next to Buffalo Wilds Winds and Red Robin outside the enclosed mall.

Founded in 1974, Cycle Gear now has 160 stores across the United States. It caters to motorcycle enthusiasts with apparel, parts and performance-oriented riding gear. It stocks a wide selection of original equipment manufacturers and aftermarket products for a variety of bikes.


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coming soon

coming soon

A new stretching studio is coming to St. John.

StretchLab bills itself as a “unique wellness concept offering customized assisted-stretch sessions in a comfortable group setting.” A trained flexologist helps people work out a customized stretch routine to remedy pain or tightness or just improve their flexibility and range of motion.

The fast-growing fitness concept is owned by parent company Xponential Fitness, a California-based company that operates Pilates, cycling, rowing, dance, running, boxing, functional training and yoga studios all around the country.

Construction is underway on the new StretchLab by La Quesadilla in Shops of Ravenwood Square on US 41.

“StretchLab is a really unique concept and offers a service that doesn’t exist around here,” said Brett McDermott with Crown Point-based Latitude Commercial, which represented the tenant in the transaction. “I’m excited for the community to try it out as I know they will embrace it after their first session.”

StretchLab aims to open in the next few months.


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Open

Open

Sephora at Kohl’s celebrated its grand opening at the Southlake Mall Wednesday.

The store-within-a-store is selling beauty products at 1601 Southlake Mall in Hobart. The 2,500-square-foot store offers premier makeup, fragrance, skincare, and hair brands.

Beauty advisors offer help and consultations in the “fully immersive beauty experience” in which customers can try out a rotating selection of new, trending or emerging products.

It’s designed to resemble a free-standing Sephora store. It carries brands like Murad, Clarins, Jack Black, Living Proof, Versace, Voluspa, Rare Beauty, NARS, Charlotte Tilbury, Kiehl’s, Giorgio Armani, Olaplex, Clinique and Sephora Collection.

Wisconsin-based Kohl’s is in the process of opening 400 new Sephora at Kohl’s shops nationwide and says it is on track to open 850 total shops by 2023.


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refurbished

refurbished

Umi Sushi and Lounge recently underwent a complete renovation in downtown Crown Point.

Theo’s Dining Group overhauled the urbane sushi lounge at 109 W. Joliet St. It sits on the second floor above Prime Steakhouse with window views overlooking the historic Old Courthouse Square.

Owner Peter Klideris said it has a more electric feel with bright colors and neon based on pictures and videos of friends visiting Asian cities.

“It’s reopened and revamped with new flooring, a new bar, new tables, new chairs and new glassware,” he said. “It kept creative sushi rolls like the Godzilla roll with vodka that’s set aflame right at your table to partially cook it so it has a warm flavor. It has shaved ribeye steak from Prime right on top of the roll, and it cooks it a little bit. We have adult beverages with a scented bubble on top that’s popped tableside. We have a flavor blaster gun that pops bubbles tableside right on top of the cocktail.”

The menu includes a variety of fresh fish and sticky rice marinated in oranges, limes, lemons and non-alcoholic rice wine. Top sellers include the Rock Lobster and the Mamacita that features yellow tail tuna, asparagus, cilantro, jalapeño, mango, cucumber, spicy mayo, eel sauce and spicy crunch.


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More chic flair

More chic flair

The dining room now has a more chic flair.

“Everybody’s been loving it,” Kilderis said. “We’ve never been busier. Patrons were super-excited to go from the old to the new look.”

Umi is looking at adding new menu items in the future, including noodles and Wagyu or Kobe steak.

“We’ve been in downtown Crown Point for years and both restaurants were coming due for renovations,” he said. “We felt we had to not because these new restaurants are coming to town but to be fair to our guests and provide a more classy experience.”

The more, the merrier on the Old Courthouse Square, he said.

“We encourage different restaurant concepts to come to the square,” he said. “So long as we’re all doing something different to distinguish it, it makes downtown more of a dining destination. People come to try one place and then might come back to come to Prime or Umi.”


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coming soon

coming soon

Theo’s Dining Group sold the Chop House On Wicker to the owners of the neighboring Shrine of Christ’s Passion, which razed the former Dick’s Restaurant at 10808 Wicker Ave. at St John.

“The Shrine made an offer we couldn’t refuse,” Owner Peter Klideris said. “I don’t know what they plan to do but it will be great for the community. So many people go to the Shrine. As the owner of Avgo, I’m happy to have them in the community.”

St. John Town Manager Joseph Wiszowaty said redevelopment plans were in the works. He said it would “definitely be a commercial development.”

“We are working with the Schillings on that, however, nothing has been finalized,” he said. “But definitely stay tuned.”


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closing

closing

White Sox fans are very familiar with the Bridgeport Restaurant at 3500 S Halsted St. in Chicago.

The historic diner with the uber-vintage facade has been in business for more than 60 years. It’s slated to close at the end of June.

The owners are looking for an entrepreneur who wants to take over the restaurant. They’re looking for a tenant to lease it for $40 per square foot for at least a three-year term.


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coming soon

coming soon

Rainbow Cone, a staple in Chicago’s far South Side Beverly neighborhood for more than 95 years, announced its summer locations.

It will serve its famous ice cream at Lincoln Park Zoo, Shedd Aquarium, Navy Pier and roaming trucks this summer. Rainbow Cone, which has the slogan “life’s too short for just one flavor,” also opened a stand at Guaranteed Rate Field this season.

For more information, visit https://www.rainbowcone.com/truck-finder/.


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