The End of an Era

The end of an era takes place today 13 February 2014,(1960-2014). It started for me aged 15 on a Wednesday after school in 1984. We had a half day every Wednesday back then and most kids of my age got a weekend job with a few extra hours on Wednesdays. I remember the day as my then football team Spurs were playing in the UEFA cup final against Anderlecht and as many long suffering Spurs fans know finals were not that common! There was a trainee manager who’s name escapes me and I sheepishly approached him and ask if I could finish early explaining about the upcoming match ‘When did you start?’ he asked having never seen me before ‘2.30 Today’ I said. So he says ‘ well I’ve gotta hand it to ye you’ve some neck!… Go on so’
And so the adventure began. I went from being what was know as a ‘Coolie’ to serving my time as an apprentice butcher ,once I had completed my leaving cert, to a qualified butcher spending 9 great years under the stewardship of Fergal Quinn. It was a fantastic company to work for and was ‘THE’ store for customer service leaving the Dunnes Stores,Quinnsworth and everybody else in the shade. Superquinn was renowned worldwide as the innovators and leaders in fresh foods and even through all the ups and downs is still regarded as fresh food leaders with their famous Superquinn sausages,meat,in store bakery. Fergal looked after his staff so well that they would have and did anything for the company. There was the time we worked straight through the day and night to turn his Bray store around after Hurricane Charlie had flooded it.( Its ironic that on the eve of the Superquinn brand going that the country was lashed by hurricane force winds!) The days we spent dressed as giant fruit to take part in St Patrick’s Day parades. Nights spent with local ICA groups talking about our products. We did all this because we believed that we were privileged to work for Fergal and if my then girlfriend now wife had not suggested that we take a year out to go to Australia I would probably have continued working for him.
Strangely enough having gone to Oz,ran my own photography business and worked for a couple of other supermarkets I returned to Superquinn where it all started one Wednesday 30 years ago.
Great memories will remain with me but as the SuperValu ad says ‘ It’s time to say HELLO!’ so onwards and upwards. Thanks Fergal for training and experience. 


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