First graders from Dan Rottermans class at Kalmiopsis Elementary School recently got a behind the scenes view of Rays Food Place in Harbor.

Store manager Terry Rogde greeted the students outside the store where they told him they have been learning about work, money and different jobs.

Rogde told the children they might see several different occupations in the stores various departments.

As Rogde helped the children don paper hats he said we wear hats so we dont get stuff in the food. Cleanliness is what we try to promote.

The first stop was in the bakery where the students watched as Michelle Revello used a large device that allowed her to cut a loaf of bread into slices with one pass through the machine.

Bread and other items are baked in the stores four large ovens, which department manager Carol Williams showed the students. The dough is prepared for baking in the proofer. Its like a steam room, she said.

Williams then demonstrated her cake decorating skills, which the children quickly compared to what they had learned during a recent tour of Delaneys Bakery.

Youre an artist, Rebecca Howell said as Williams created a rose out of frosting.

Williams said she makes about 20 cakes a week.

How many doughnuts do you make, she was asked.

Oh, my gosh. We do thousands of doughnuts, she said.

In the warehouse Rogde explained how many items are recycled. The first graders seemed to be impressed as Rogde demonstrated a machine designed to crush cardboard boxes.

When the machine is done the cardboard comes out in a big hay bale, he said.

A person has to be 18 or older to run the machine. Its very dangerous, he said.

Why arent the cans crushed, Rogde was asked.

The (soda company) drivers give us credit, he said, showing the children a large plastic bag with a red line on it. The bags are filled to the line. If the cans were smashed it would require more to fill the bag

Why do we recycle, Rogde asked the first graders.

We cant get anything new and we use everything over and over, a student said.

A quick trip through a couple of large freezers stacked with food led the children to where a large meat grinder is kept. Meat department manager Phil Luna demonstrated the device by making hamburger.

Luna also showed the children a saw used to cut meat and demonstrated the meat departments label machine by making each child a sticker to wear, which said class field trip, Rays meat department 2001.

Produce manager Paul Orman, who Rogde compared to the character Paul Bunyan, gave a quick tour of the produce department.

All the bananas are picked green, Orman said.

When they are left in a sealed box the banana gives off heat and cooks turning it yellow, Orman said.

Produce scraps are picked up by people who feed them to animals like horses, pigs, or guinea pigs, Orman said.

Damaged grocery items are boxed up and given to the food bank, Rogde said.

Rogde concluded the tour by giving each student an apple, a sticker and a bag of with a variety of items including a Rays Food Place pen and a coupon for a free childrens video rental.