Published: 15:00, 09 March 2018
The introduction of self scanning machines and the 5p charge for bags are just two of the changes staff at Sainsbury's in Deal have witnessed over the past two decades.
This week marked 20 years since the supermarket chain opened its doors in West Street offering long serving staff members a chance to reflect, and enjoy a slice of cake.
Initially run by Steve Gunner, it opened on March 5 1998, awarding its first two customers - who reportedly slept overnight in their cars - a bunch of flowers each.
Now managed by Mark Maidment, it provides jobs for more than 200 people, 18 of whom have been there since the beginning.
Among then is Sam Newell, 50, who applied for her job as a general assistant at the Job Centre as soon as she heard the store was being built.
Her starting wage was £3.74 but she now earns more than £8 an hour.
When asked what she loves about her job, she said: "For me, it's my colleagues. I've made some really great friends over the years.
"Most of our customers are also very nice.
"We have an awful lots of regulars that come in day after day. They come in so often, we know what they want. We just have to say 'Usual?' It's usually cigarettes."
Shaun Turnball is another long serving staff member. He will be known to people for working outside in all weathers to keep the store's trolleys in order.
Wendy Watson may also be a familiar face. Many customers might recognise her after she become the new face and body of a post-surgery and mastectomy bra range being sold in Debenhams in 2015.
Karl Skinner, Ruth Jones, Jacquie Gill, Nicole Bartlett, Jayne Adcock, Julie Perry, Sally Golding, Laurine Slythe, Jenny Scurfield, Sylvia Farrah, Lisa Wright, Sandra Ovenden, Lynne Dorling, Tracey Arnold and Bev Hawkins have also worked at the store since it opened.
They received a special pin badge in recognition of their service.
Their memories include dressing up each year for Comic Relief including one year when past manager Glen Adams took a dip in a tub full of baked beans.
As well as the introduction of self scanning machines and the 5p charge for a bag, they recalled the store's extension in October 2016.
This allowed them to extend their offer from just food to include clothes and electrical items too.
They say the staff perks include a 10% discount card and a parking permit.
The store will mark the occasion with a celebratory buffet.
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