January 09, 2015
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40-year grocery veteran Store Director Chuck Sutton, talks to a customer at his store, Winn-Dixie Store No. 1590, in Prairieville, Louisiana. ​

At 16 years old, Chuck Sutton didn’t suspect he’d turn his part-time job bagging groceries at Winn-Dixie into a lifetime career.

Sutton, current store director of the newly-remodeled Winn-Dixie Store No. 1590 in Prairieville, Louisiana, recently celebrated his 40th anniversary with the company, and has loyally committed himself to stores in the Baton Rouge area since 1974.

“Back then, gas was cheap – only 40 or 50 cents per gallon, and bagging groceries at Winn-Dixie was one of the best-paying part-time jobs in town,” Sutton said. “We often earned tips from the customers, especially on weekends.”

Throughout the next several years, Sutton transitioned seamlessly from store to store and department to department. He worked his way from bagger up to dairy manager, on to produce manager and then assistant store manager, with his heart set on one day becoming a store director.

Before he knew it, Sutton had worked at 12 different stores, had led the openings of eight brand new stores and had become not only a store director, but a meaningful figure in the community, as well as the company.

“When you see Chuck Sutton at Winn-Dixie, it’s clear as day that he’s a veteran in the field,” said Chip Turner, district director. “Chuck exudes respect for his associates and the families and friends who shop at his store, and in return, he is highly regarded by everyone he meets.”

After moving around the Baton Rouge area stores for several years, Sutton opened the Prairieville Winn-Dixie, now a local fixture in the small-town suburb. Sixteen years have passed, and he is still there today, taking pride in his store, his associates and his customers.

“What I like best about this job is all of the interesting people you get to meet,” Sutton said. “Sometimes part-timers visit after they’ve moved on to other jobs and thank me for training them or for playing a role in their lives. These kids have grown up to be doctors, entrepreneurs, and one had even been approved by a Senator and accepted into the Naval Academy.”

Another thing Sutton is proud of is a signature Easter Egg Hunt that his store puts on every spring. The event is now a nine-year tradition and more than 500 participants attended last year.

Sutton said he is appreciative of a career that has allowed him to support his family and raise his two successful sons. During his time off, he is an avid tennis player and also likes to hunt and fish.

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District Director Chip Turner, and Store Director Chuck Sutton during the grand re-opening of Winn-Dixie Store No. 1590 in November.

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New Orleans Regional Vice President Karena Niblett and Store Director Chuck Sutton at a community appreciation event in Prairieville, La.

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