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Stretford gran marks more than 30 years of service to supermarket chain
10:00am Friday 27th April 2012 in News
A GRANDMOTHER from Stretford has dedicated more than three decades of loyal service to a supermarket chain.
Mary Brown, 67, a grandmother-of-two, has just celebrated her 31st year of working for Iceland in the Stretford Mall.
She is the longest serving employee of the popular store in the shopping centre on Chester Road which opened its doors in 1976, just a few years before Mary joined the company.
In the month that Mary joined the company, Shakin Stevens was celebrating a number one hit with This Ole House and the first London Marathon was held with 7,500 runners.
With many years of hard work for the company, Mary said she enjoyed her job and that Iceland is a terrific company to work for. The well known frozen food chain has just been named as number one in a recent Sunday Times survey of the best companies to work for.
She said: “Getting to know the customers is one of the best things about the job. I have been here such a long time that I have seen some of the children of our customers grow up and have their own children and they all still come and shop with us.
“I like to talk to people, my husband says I talk too much, but it works well in a job like mine. It can mean a lot to people if you take the time to have a bit of a chat to them and listen to what they have to say and I see that as a very important part of the job.
“I have had marriage proposals in my time which I have very politely turned down and I get Christmas cards from some of my customers because we have become friends as the years have gone by.
“Sometimes they even bring in chocolates. We had one couple who used to bring in sweets every morning.”
Born and raised in Stretford, Mary also knows the importance of the Stretford Mall to the local community. Mary has her hair done at Stretford Mall’s Headmasters and has been using the Dawson’s The Dentist in the shopping centre for almost 50 years.
She said: “The Mall is not only a place for people to shop, but also a place for people to meet and have a chat to one another which is very important to a community like Stretford.”
Her thoughts were echoed by Stretford Mall manager, Colin McCrory, who said: “I can’t claim the long service of Mary but I do know exactly what she means when she talks about the loyal visitors who return to the Stretford Mall week on week to do their shopping.
“We are a very important part of the community and have been for a very long time.
“It is people like Mary who make our shopping centre such a welcoming and warm place to visit and I would like to congratulate her on her long service to Iceland.”
Stretford Mall Iceland manager, Nick Davies, also congratulated her and said: “She is a very reliable member of staff and aside from when she had an operation, I can’t ever remember her having a day off sick.
“She is an incredibly valued member of staff who sets a perfect example to the rest of the team she works with and she is brilliant with the customers.
“No matter how she is feeling, she is always happy and willing to give them her time and it is that sort of service which keeps our customers coming back.”
For more about the stores at Stretford Mall, go to www.stretfordmall.co.uk