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November 8, 2013

Employee marks 25 years with Kroger; ready for 25 more

Andy Jackson doesn’t just bag groceries at the Cleveland Highway Kroger. Fellow employees say he brightens days — and he’s been doing that for 25 years.

“We have customers who, when it’s time to check out, look for him,” said manager Jeff Czerneski. “They’ll get in the line he’s at no matter how long it is because they know he’ll do a good job of bagging their groceries and because he always has a smile on his face. He often knows their names and they talk for a little bit.”

On Thursday, Kroger honored Jackson for his 25th anniversary with the company during a reception attended by members of his family and fellow employees. In addition to cake and chili, Jackson received a home sound system and a plaque recognizing his 25 years of service.

“He’s actually been looking forward to this day for a while now,” his mother Vivian Jackson said. “But when we asked him what he wanted he said the only thing he wanted was a plaque.”

Jackson started working at the store when he was 19. His parents say they were a little nervous the first day they dropped off Jackson, who is intellectually challenged. But they say they quickly learned how much at home he is in the store.

“Kroger is his life,” his father Ed Jackson said. “He really enjoys himself. These people are his family. That’s how he feels about them. Each morning he picks up the paper and looks at the stocks to see how Kroger’s stock price is doing.”

Jackson, who works eight hours a day four days a week, said he can’t think of a better job.

“I’m ready for my next 25 years,” he said.

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