In today’s job market, 15 years is a long time to work for a company, especially in the fast-paced food industry. At Pagliacci, it's becoming the norm. It's become a tradition to honor the occasion and the special people who make us who we are.
Uvania Balbuena and Victoria Tun are two remarkable people celebrating their 15th anniversaries with Pagliacci. Jeff Woodruff, Pagliacci’s Vice-President of Operations, says, “The thing I appreciate the most about Vicki and Uvania is the same: They both have exacting standards and will tolerate nothing less! Hands down, both would hold a place on my dream team.”
Uvania and Victoria have a lot in common in addition to high praise from all quarters. Both followed family members to Pagliacci. Uvania’s husband, Luis, is the General Manager of the Valley location. Victoria followed two brothers to Pagliacci and now works with her sister, Marlene, the General Manager at the Bellevue Square store. More importantly, both are very dedicated mothers who have worked with Pagliacci to build schedules that accommodate the demands of childcare.
When Uvania started, she and Luis were at the same store. “We work together very well,” she says, “but after our son Angel was born, we needed separate shifts so one of us could be home with him.”
Victoria lives near her job at Bellevue Square. The short commute is important with all that she juggles. She says, “My schedule is flexible. I’m a single mom and sometimes pick my kids up from school. I work from 9 to 3 so I’m free when they’re home.”
Working for her younger sister might seem complicated, but Victoria likes it, “She’s a good person and a very strong woman.She’s my sister and I love her, but at work she’s not my sister, she’s the boss.”
Pagliacci provided ESL lessons for Victoria and a few others at the Bellevue Square store. Victoria says, “When I first started working at Pagliacci I didn’t speak any English. The lessons were very helpful. Luis, Uvania’s husband, came here to join us for them too.”
“Victoria has worked with countless siblings, cousins, nieces, and nephews in her 15 years,” says John Clifford, Pagliacci’s Director of Operations.
John managed the Sand Point store years ago. He remembers that, “Uvania had no qualms about making sure everyone—including me—was toeing the line to get prep done, bust out the rush, get breaks done, and clean up. She worked tirelessly to make the store run better—and then helped raise her sons in the off time. Vicki shares that same drive.”
One of Uvania’s favorite memories of her years at Pagliacci her ten-year anniversary when owner Matt Galvin and John surprised her with a special handbag. “They are two of my favorite people at Pagliacci and the bag was one I love,” Uvania says. “But I won’t tell you the brand because this isn’t an advertisement. This is about my fifteen years!”
Uvania’s husband, Luis, is one of the best tossers in the company. He even stars in a training video about tossing perfect pies. Asked about her skills versus his Uvania cracks a smile. “I know Luis is good, but I’m the best tosser. Unfortunately the company hasn’t recognized I’m the best yet.”
Well, the best tosser debate will endure, but without doubt, Victoria and Uvania are two of the best and so much more. John says, “Both Vicki and Uva are stalwarts who have helped us train new managers the right way. Both work incredibly hard and then go home to a harder job!”