Thirty-five years ago, George Green began his career as a grocery clerk in the dairy department of Askew’s Foods.
He retires as manager of the Uptown Askew’s at the end of October and is heading to Penticton.
“I love Salmon Arm, it’s a great place to raise kids and work for Askew’s,” says Green. “I’ve always been proud to work for them, for their giving back to the community and realizing what’s good for the community is good for us.”
Green says Lloyd and Dorothy Askew led by example in their philanthropy, giving to all sort of causes.
“That trickled down to staff and how we were treated,” Green says. “They set the model for the rest of us.”
After several years in the dairy department, Green moved to produce where he eventually became department manager.
In 1995, Karen Angove offered him management of the downtown store, where he was responsible for some 60 employees. In 2012, he moved up the hill to take over management of Uptown Askew’s and its 85 employees.
“They love it, it’s very unique in the industry,” says Green of how staff and shoppers feel about the new store. “They love the wellness centre, the café; it’s a great atmosphere to shop in and work in.”
He is grateful that both his children worked at the store when they were growing up and says lots of employees’ kids get their start there too.
“From day one, LLoyd wanted to give people full-time work – he wanted to give them a decent living,” Green says, noting Askew’s has a high percentage of full-time people compared to the industry norm. “It has been a great career; I have loved the food business, the people, the whole experience.”
While he is “basically” retiring, Green says he will likely go stir crazy and hang out in the middle of a grocery store. As he heads out the door, Green will hand over the keys to his grocery kingdom to Heather Turner, another longtime employee.
“She’s been here for 25 years and she will do a fantastic job,” he says enthusiastically. “She’s been our health and wellness buyer and natural foods buyer, so it’s only a natural progression for her to be store manager.”