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Nags Head Food Lion store manager celebrated for 30 years of service

Food Lion is celebrating nearly 300 associates who have more than 30 years of service with the retailer, including 14 associates in the greater Norfolk area.

“Our associates serve their neighbors with passion, dedication and care each day,” said Food Lion president Meg Ham in a release from the company. “It’s important to us at Food Lion to take time and thank these dedicated associates for everything they do to nourish our customers, communities, and each other. These associates have given their careers so that we can be where we are today, and the entire Food Lion organization is incredibly grateful for their commitment to Food Lion and the towns and cities we serve.”

One associate in particular serves customers right here on the Outer Banks. Rick Chance, who has served 30 years with Food Lion in 14 different locations, is the store manager at the Nags Head Food Lion in The Shoppes at 10.5.

“I started stocking, something I was going while I was in college, and just progressed and stuck with it,” Chance said about how he got started with the company. “Opportunities came and I moved up.”

Chance started out in Richmond, Va. and was transferred to the Virginia Beach region until he was recruited to the Outer Banks in 2002. He finished college with a degree in business administration and accounting and used that to help with his career path at Food Lion.

After moving to the Outer Banks, Chance said he met his wife and they decided to raise their family here by the beach. “The beach is where we want to be,” he shared.

Chance has always been involved with his community. Through Food Lion, he has been able to work with Nags Head Elementary, to host several events throughout the year and provide baked goods for special occasions at the school.

“For me personally, I like to be really involved in the community, so it’s pretty cool that you can work for a company that support you in that.”

In his 30 years with the company, Chance said he has never seen anything like what COVID-19 has brought. “There were a lot of surprises this year,” he said.

Despite the challenges, Chance said he is proud of how Food Lion has stepped up and made their stores safe for everyone. Along with increased sanitation in all areas, Chance said Food Lion has allowed employees who are nervous to have time off, and had sent internal workers from Charlotte and Raleigh to the area to help keep things running smoothly while providing them with housing accommodations.

“It really has evolved into a great company; I’ve gotten to see everything along the journey. The culture is really good.”

Food Lion’s release stated: “There are 274 associates with long tenures of service who are celebrating a milestone year in 2020. Food Lion recognizes associates celebrating 30, 35, 40 and 45 years of service with the Years of Service Award. Each year to demonstrate the company’s appreciation and gratitude, the retailer honors holds a ceremony where each associate’s name, position and location are read aloud and celebrated to underscore that each one is important to Food Lion and contributed to its growth.”

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