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Grocery bagger by day, café crooner by night

Jordan Krolak is a firm believer in sharing his gift of voice.

WHITE BEAR LAKE, Minn. — Mundane is a grocery run on a weekday morning, until you come across Jordan. He's usually at the end of a check out line, helping customers by bagging their groceries and carrying them out to their cars.

He's not shy to throw in a joke here or there.

"I like that I get to meet people and I get to help them out whenever I can, and just be kind and nice to them," Krolak said.

But come make a grocery run on an occasional weekday evening at the White Bear Lake Lunds & Byerlys, then the experience brings a bit more sizzle to routine.

"I think it's like giving people joy again, because that's why music is—music is what brings people back together," Krolak said.

The face to a buttery, smooth voice that almost sounds like it's the radio playing inside the store, is none other than Jordan.

Grocery bagger by day, cafe crooner by night.

"What I love most about singing is...that kind of gift, I feel like that gift came from God," he said. "And he gave that gift to me for a purpose, so that I can sing my heart out to everyone who was there, at that performance I did."

At every one of Jordan's performances, is Jordan's mother Melanie Krolak. 

"Initially they had nobody performing here, ever. And I made a suggestion to the management, you know, you have this beautiful bar back there, he could perform any time you want!" she said.

With a massive set list, Krolak is generous with his gift.

Despite his struggles with autism, stage fright...is not in his vocabulary.

"My brain is like 90% song lyrics," Krolak said. It's true. While he uses a program on his iPad to provide the background track to his singing, he never once needs any sort of reference for any of the songs. 

Words, his mother said, have always having been his forte.

"He's always writing something, he's been writing a book for years, he's written musical plays, he just does it spontaneously," Melanie said.

His passion has led to his newest project of self-publishing a book, to help others.

"This book, [is] 'My Disability Does Not Define Me,'" he said, holding it up.

Krolak said the book sheds light on navigating this tough thing called life...with autism.

"I wrote this book to not only help me but to help others as well," he said. "And I've learned that it's not a disability, it's a different ability."

And when that ability makes toes tap and fingers snap...it's no good to keep it hidden.

"I just do it for fun, to share my talents to people," he said. "When you're having fun, everyone has fun. And if you have a gift or talent, that you want to share, then go for it. Don't let anybody stop you, don't let negatively shut you down."

Jordan's next big project is rehearsing for his role as Perchik in "Fiddler on the Roof." You can catch that performance March 24-26 and March 31-April 2 at Grace Community Theater in Forest Lake.

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