Minster resident Theresa Wesley celebrates 40th anniversary as Co-operative staff member

Theresa (holding flowers in pink box) with colleagues is celebrating 40 years working at Co-operative

A Minster Co-operative staff member says her customers and colleagues are the reason she is celebrating 40 years working at the convenience store.

To celebrate her anniversary, Theresa Wesley has been pampered and praised by her Co-operative food colleagues in Monkton Road, who describe her as ‘absolutely fabulous’.

Theresa originally moved to Minster in 1982 from Canterbury after she married her husband Andrew. She started working at the store just one year later on 1 May and says she wouldn’t change a thing.

Theresa, 60, who is a customer service assistant, said: “It was completely different when I first started. My boss used to buy big bags of frozen chips and peas and we used to put them in smaller bags. We used to boil our own ham in a big pressure type cooker and sell it over the deli counter.

“I have been here during four or five refits so the layout has changed a lot. I know most customers by name and we know most of the people in the village. People come every day just to come and talk to us. I like to see them. It is a very friendly place and has always been like that.”

During her 40 years, Theresa has had two sons, Ben and Matthew, who own a sub-contract machining business in Manston called ProSpeed Precision Limited.

Theresa said: “My eight year old granddaughter thinks it is a good thing that I have worked here 40 years. I have good colleagues and friends here. Plus I can walk to work every day.

“It’s a community as we always try to find out if people are okay if we haven’t seen them for a few days. It’s been a big part of my life. I wouldn’t change anything.”

Over the years, Theresa has seen generations of locals grow up and start having families of their own including teenagers who she first knew as Saturday colleagues whilst they were at school.

To celebrate her anniversary, the store – which is part of Southern Co-op – surprised her with flowers, a store collection and a hanging basket as she is a keen gardener.

Store manager Heidi Stonestreet said: “She is an amazing woman. I’m grateful for every single day for Mrs T. She’s an absolutely fabulous colleague.

“She’s one of those ladies that just comes in and nothing is ever a drama or too hard. She can do everything. The customers hold her in high regard.”

To find out more about Southern Co-op, visit www.southernco-opjobs.co.uk.