Although it seems like only yesterday, I joined Allen Tate Relocation in 1999. Since then, I’ve heard numerous wonderful stories and shared some amazing memories with my colleagues. But I must say that one of my favorite stories is how Mr. Allen Tate got his start in sales (a relevant story given yesterday’s announcement about Chiquita moving their global headquarters to Charlotte, N.C.).
As a young boy, Mr. Tate spent time working in his father’s grocery store in Gaffney, S.C. It was there that he learned the value of customer service and a quality product. To help inspire motivation and determination, his father would give him challenges to complete in the store each Saturday. If he had not completed the challenge by 6 p.m., his father would approach him and ask, “Allen, did you truly work to sell that product to our customers?”
One particular Saturday, Mr. Tate walked in to find the front of his father’s store covered, floor to ceiling, with bananas. As he tells it, there were bananas as far as the eye could see. Apparently a train carrying the shipment of bananas had been delayed between Gaffney and New Orleans. Instead of discarding the over-ripe bananas, they were given to Mr. Tate’s father in the hopes that he could sell them all.