Colin co-operates his way to four decades of loyal service

A food store manager who began his Co-op career bottling milk at a Derbyshire dairy has been recognised after reaching 40 years of service.

Colin Wright started in 1980 at the Langley Mill Co-op Dairy working in the bottling plant before embarking on a long and varied career in retail helping to serve the community with food and essentials.

After working at Ashbourne and Eastwood following a move to the shopfloor, the 56-year-old spent 11 years in charge at Central England Co-op in Belper, then saw spells in Stretton, Coalville and eight years in Littleover, before his latest challenge as Store Manager at the retailer’s Station Road Food Store in Hatton.

Colin, who lives in Eastwood with his wife and fellow Central England Co-op colleague Kim, said his varied career has kept things interesting and that he has worked with some great people in his time.

He said: “I have worked across a number of shops and in amongst that I spent time on the road when we took the All Days stores over when I was seconded to assist with the integration of those stores, so it has always been very varied for me.

“What stands out to me from my career is not necessarily the places but the people you work with along the way. I’ve worked with some great people over the years and I have always enjoyed developing people and helping to bring other colleagues on in their careers. I have developed quite a few who are now store managers which is really pleasing.”

Colin said that though he has faced plenty of challenges in his career, this year has been on another level, but his team has pulled together to overcome everything thrown at them.

He said: “When you have difficult times and challenges to overcome it’s the colleagues working with you that make the difference and I have been very lucky in that regard.

“At Hatton during these last few months the team has faced every challenge that has come along head on and really proved themselves.”

After 40 years working on the retail frontline Colin is showing no signs of slowing down and said retiring has not crossed his mind.

He said: “I’m still enjoying it – if it ever gets to a point where I’m not enjoying it then I think that will be the time to say farewell, but I love what I do and that is all you can ask for.”

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