by Lisa Tome
Mornings in Rising Sun are about to be a little less cheerful.
Tammy Burcham, who has worked at Sunoco A+, Rising Sun, for a dozen years, is moving on.
Customer Dave May of Colora learned that Burcham is leaving and was visibly saddened. He said he turns out at the store two to three times each day and has enjoyed Burcham's personality and warm smile.
"She made the store. She made the place. This is a big disappointment. It will be different here. She's a good person," said May.
Burcham began working at the store 12 years ago on April 7. She is staying on a week after the anniversary date before moving on to work at Malin's sub shop in Newark, Delaware.
Burcham said even before getting the job at the store, she wanted to work there. She was a frequent customer before landing the job. "I always wanted to work here. I grew up in this town and I wanted to work here so I could see my classmates," said Burcham, who graduated from Rising Sun High in 1991.
After taking the job Burcham realized it wasn't just here classmates she enjoyed serving.
"I like people," she said. "People are creatures of habit. I know their habits and how long they are going to shop. And with all the locals, I'm on a first name basis. I wish I could take them all with me."
She was ready for a job change. She used to work 55 hours a week. Her hours were cut to 40 so she decided to seek new employment. "There was no stability in the schedule," she said. She said she enjoyed, the work the people and the hours. Each day she caters to the breakfast and lunch crowds. She said the store is busy from 5 a.m. until 8:30 a.m. and again at lunch time.
She also said that convenience store business has changed a great deal in her dozen years. "When I started, we counted and we made 750 pots of coffee a day. Now it's about 200 pots. At lunch we used to have three people working," she said. She said business used to be "brisker".
Now people come in for gas, cigarettes (she's knows the brand for all the regulars), coffee, and soft drinks.
"They used to buy beer but now that's not so much," she said. "The sales of alcohol have really dropped."
She also wants customers to come visit before she leaves in mid-April.
"Certain people can make your day with a smile. There are a lot of humorous people in this town - the farmers. I have people who come in here and stay for an hour a day. It's almost like you are related to everyone," she said. "I'm going to miss it. The hardest part is going to be leaving on that last day. I really don't want to come in on the last day. But I'll still see people. But this is definitely going to be an adjustment."