“I feel incredibly blessed”: Linda Pearl retires after 50 years at Kroger |

PLYMOUTH—Kroger executives and employees celebrated Linda Pearl as she retired after 50 years with the company. She started at Plymouth Kroger in 1972 as a summer job. “I gave my two weeks notice in August 1972,” she recalls with a chuckle. “That didn’t quite work out, did it?”

During her time at Kroger, she went through many changes in the grocery business. When she started working there, prices for items had to be stamped on each piece of inventory and then entered into the cash register by hand. If the price changed, someone had to come by and manually activate it on the individual items. “They had an ink irradiator, and they had to irradiate it, dry it, and then put the new price on it,” she described. “Technology has been a huge change.”

The roles she has fulfilled in Plymouth are many and varied, so she has bonded with many clients over the years. “I made a lot of friends. I laughed with customers, I cried with customers. I try very hard, when I make conversation, to write things down,” she explains. “It means a lot to customers that you’re trying to remember something about them.”

Currently, she also works part-time at the Marshall-Starke Developmental Center as direct support staff, which she will continue to do for the foreseeable future. She also plans to spend more time with family and friends as well as travel, such as Santa Barbara, California with old friends over the summer, and the Cincinnati Zoo to visit Fiona l hippopotamus, according to a customer’s suggestion. “I have a lot on my to-do list,” she said.

Although Pearl knows she will miss the customers, she is also excited about this next chapter. “So many people have to retire because the company they worked for is closing and they’re at an age where it’s hard to find another job or they have to retire because of their health.” said Pearl. “I feel incredibly blessed because I’m dating on my terms.”