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Team Building, Plus 700 Sandwiches

The rules were simple: take teams of five or six employees, provide sandwich-making supplies and give 5 minutes for rapid-fire sandwich making.

Westlake Ace Hardware, which has 92 stores in seven states, came up with the game, and turned what could have been an ordinary staff meeting for managers into the mass production of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

The reasons? Team building for managers scattered between dozens of different stores, and approximately 700 sandwiches to feed the homeless and other people in need.

Teams of store managers dumped loaves onto tables, slathered peanut butter and jelly onto bread slices and then bagged the sandwiches.

“It was a blast,” says general manager John Sanders, who oversees a Westlake Ace location in Olathe, Kansas. “After 5 minutes of cardio sandwich making, you’re pretty amped up. It was great to have that kind of bonding.”

The team that made the most sandwiches got bragging rights, and all the teams’ efforts together produced a meal for a homeless shelter in the Kansas City area. Sanders’ team came in first place, slapping together 45 sandwiches.

“It was a lot of fun—a great time for us to bond and do something wonderful in our community,” Sanders says.

About Lynnea Chom

Lynnea is the senior graphic designer for Hardware Retailing magazine, where she works on the layout and design of the magazine and other custom publications. She also does print design for NRHA’s marketing materials, programs and other in-house projects. Lynnea graduated from Ball State University with a degree in Graphic Design. She lives in her hometown of Greenwood, Indiana. During her free time, she enjoys designing, painting, reading and volunteering at her family-owned childcare facility.

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