Food Lion employee celebrates 50 years with company

Kathy Goodman is celebrating a golden anniversary this year.

Goodman has worked at Food Lion for 50 years. She currently serves as a specialty merchandise associate at Store No. 251 on U.S. Highway 52 in Albemarle.

Food Lion was founded in 1957 and at the time was called Food Town. It changed its name to Food Lion in 1983.

Kathy Goodman has been employed by Food Lion, formerly Food Town, since 1974. (Contributed)

When Goodman was in school at Albemarle High, she was part of the DECA Club. It included a program where students would go to school half the day and work the other half.

Goodman said Sybil Brown, her teacher, gave her three options for employment: Allison’s Manufacturing, McDonald’s and Food Town.

Goodman began her career with Food Town Store No. 19 on Aug. 12, 1974, when it was located where the skating rink of U.S. 52 is now.

“I wasn’t planning on staying this long or anything,” said Goodman, a Millingport resident.

She began her career as a cashier. She has worked in produce, the meat department and as an office assistant. Her current role includes overseeing health and beauty aisles and stocking shelves.

“It doesn’t seem possible. It doesn’t seem like it’s been 50 years,” she said. “I would say it’s a great place to work. They have a lot opportunities, a lot of advancement opportunities, a lot of places you can work in.”

Many things have changed during Goodman’s tenure, from technological advances in the cash register, ways to scan merchandise and bookkeeping, to the way people work in general.

“Work ethics have changed a lot, which I think is sad,” Goodman said. “People don’t seem to want to work as hard.”

Goodman was among more than 350 associates honored by Food Lion during April for more 30 years or more of service.

“Recognizing the dedication and contributions of our associates who have served Food Lion for many years is a true honor for us,” said Meg Ham, president, Food Lion. “Their commitment to excellence, care for our customers and impact in the towns and cities we serve is invaluable. We are incredibly fortunate to have such passionate and dedicated associates who continue to make a positive difference every day.”

Besides Goodman at 50 years, individuals reaching the 30 years of service mark include Luther Smith, manager of customer service from Albemarle; Donna Burnette, produce sales associate from Oakboro; and Jennifer Pegram, assistant manager of customer service from Norwood.

As for Goodman, she says meeting people “has been the most wonderful part.”

“I’ve been greatly blessed. It’s been wonderful.”

B.J. Drye is general manager/editor of The Stanly News & Press. Call 704-982-2123.