Shopping at your local Kroger each week is an activity many Nashvillians can relate to. You stock up on essentials, pick up prescriptions, perhaps swing by the bakery for a free cookie for your child to keep them occupied (at least until aisle 3). It’s like a comfortable pair of jeans — you know “your” store like the back of your hand. And the same can be true for the employees who work there. The familiar faces are the folks you’ve come to know and appreciate, and they are also the ones who know that you prefer a certain product over another, or that you have a young daughter who gets a kick out of receiving a flower trimming that was otherwise destined for the trash. (Yes, we’re speaking from experience.) And while you know these faces and would likely recognize them outside of Kroger, how well do you really know them? Well, we figure if you see these people each and every week (if not more!), then it’s high time you get to know a bit about them. Everyone has a story, and these familiar FACES of Kroger offer more than meets the eye!

Antrione Webb: Charlotte Pike Kroger

Antrione Webb began his career with Kroger in 1993 at the Monroe Street location. Now working at the Charlotte Pike location, Antrione lives in North Nashville and commutes to work each day on his bicycle, which he notoriously rides through rain, sleet, snow or whatever the weather. While he loves bikes, he also loves his position at Kroger, stating that if he were offered a job at another grocery store, he wouldn’t take it because of all the wonderful people he has met and worked with at Kroger over the years. Get to know this dedicated employee better.

Antrione loves bikes, and he also loves his Kroger family!

Antrione loves bikes, and he also loves his Kroger family!

What led you to your career at Kroger?

I started at Kroger in 1993 while I was in high school. I thought about doing other things after high school, but I’ve stayed with Kroger for 24 years now.

What’s something your regular or repeat customers would be surprised to learn about you?

I have a ton of passion for building bikes and anything to do with bikes. I like to collect a lot of parts and bikes. I ride my bike to work each day, even when working in Franklin, which is 36 miles one way!

What’s the most challenging aspect of this job?

Keeping the back dock in order. I don’t like when I walk in and stuff is out of place.

Antrione says that one of the most challenging aspects of his job is keeping the back dock in order.

Antrione says that one of the most challenging aspects of his job is keeping the back dock in order. “I don’t like when I walk in and stuff is out of place,” he explains.

Do you have a favorite customer? If so, who and why are they your favorite?

No, but my favorite mentor employee is Eddie Collins. I can always count on Eddie, and I have known him my whole career. We take care of each other.

What’s the best thing about working at Kroger?

I get paid vacations and have pretty flexible scheduling. I take a lot of pride in my work and being part of our grocery team.

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DeWitt “Mack” McGowan: Cool Springs Kroger

Mack McGowan moved to Franklin after retiring from a 31-year career at General Motors in Detroit. Shortly after arriving in Middle Tennessee, he went to the Cool Springs Kroger to shop and could see they needed help. He told the store manager at the time, “If you hire me, you will not be sorry.” And 19 years later, Mack, or “Cowboy” as he’s known because of his straw cowboy hat, is still making Kroger proud! Meet Mack “Cowboy” McGowan!

Mac "Cowboy" McGowan began his 19-years-and-counting career at Kroger after a 31-year career at GM in Detroit.

Mack “Cowboy” McGowan began his 19-years-and-counting career at Kroger after a 31-year career at General Motors in Detroit.

When did you begin working at Kroger, and what led you to this job?

I began working for Kroger in 1998. After working for General Motors in Detroit for 31 years, I moved to Franklin, TN, and this is the store that I shopped at. I talked to the manager at the time, and he gave me a job. At first I started bagging groceries, but then they asked me to go get buggies, and I never came back in. I love my job!

Why is Kroger such a special place to work?

I fell in love with the customers immediately. I know when they are coming, and I know exactly what their special needs are. I take my job very seriously.

"I love my job," Mac says. And with a smile like that, we believe him!

“I love my job,” Mack says. And with a smile like that, we believe him!

What’s something your regular or repeat customers would be surprised to learn about you?

Customers ask me all the time, “How is it that you are so happy all the time?” and I tell them it is Jesus. I am a minister at my church.

When you’re not working, how do you spend your free time?

I spend my time away from work preaching about the Lord, riding my motorcycle and entertaining my wife.

What’s your favorite product that Kroger carries?

Grapes are my favorite product. I like to eat them to make sure that they are good for our customers.

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Tara Whitt:  Smyrna Kroger

Tara Whitt joined the Kroger team in August 2003 as a courtesy clerk. Putting the customer first is of the utmost importance to her, and it means assisting every customer with an award-winning smile and performing her job with excellence. Tara wants to make every customer feel appreciated and special because it makes her feel appreciated and special knowing that she has provided outstanding service. And she’s not shy when proclaiming that she is the hardest worker in the store! Get to know this hard worker who is always on time, never calls out and takes great pride in her position.

Tara has been with Kroger since August 2003.

Tara has been with Kroger since August 2003 and is the self-proclaimed hardest worker in the store!

You’re known for your quick smiles and willingness to help. What drives you to be such a positive person?

I like to help the people, and I love helping our customers.

When you’re not working, how do you spend your free time?

I like to listen to music and dance. I also love to go to Dollywood whenever I can.

Tara enjoys spending time at Dollywood as often as she can.

Tara enjoys spending time at Dollywood as often as she can.

Tell the readers something about Kroger that they might be surprised to find out.

There are a lot of friendly people and friendly customers.

Why is Kroger such a special place to work? 

A lot of people come here to shop, so we are always busy. Kroger has low prices, friendly people, and we are always helping each other.

Thanks to all of these FACES of Kroger — it’s a pleasure getting to know you better! 

Next time you’re shopping at your local Kroger, make a point to stop and say hi to the familiar faces you’ve come to know so well. 

This article is sponsored by Kroger. Photography by Leila Grossman of Grannis Photography.

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