WORTHINGTON — Fredi Magaña was thrilled to return to Worthington and begin his new role as Fareway store manager Monday.

Magaña began working for Fareway when he was in high school, at the Sioux City, Iowa location. He was transferred to the Worthington store from 2012 to 2017 as the assistant manger, followed by the same position at the Orange City, Iowa store.

Fareway informed Magaña just last Monday of his transfer and promotion.

"It was hard for me to keep it a secret," he said.

Outgoing Worthington manager Tim Stebbins was on vacation at the time and hadn't gotten to tell his employees yet. Magaña didn't want them to hear the news secondhand, so he waited for Stebbins to talk to his crew before announcing his own exciting news.

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"I'm very excited to be here," Magaña said of his return.

He and his wife love the Worthington community for its family values and safe reputation.

"I don't feel nervous that (my family) will be in danger," Magaña said, adding that they look forward to using Worthington's bike trails and community parks.

Magaña's 15 years of employment with Fareway have cemented his love for the company.

"I've never thought of leaving this company," he said. He loves Fareway for its quality produce and meat, as well as its excellent customer service.

Magaña's favorite place in the store to work is produce, and he can be found there frequently — especially if he gets to work alongside and mentor a teenaged employee. He loves teaching youths how to take responsibility for themselves.

"It's been a blessing to our family to have this opportunity," Magaña said. "We're very thankful to God, and we're very thankful to the corporation."

On Tuesday, Magaña sent a brief text message to Fareway CEO Reynolds Cramer. He thanked Cramer for offering the opportunity to support his family while working for a company he loves.

Magaña's promotion coincides with Worthington Fareway's 10-year anniversary. To celebrate, the store will begin a three-day sale on Thursday, with additional perks like free coffee for patrons.

"We look forward to serving the Worthington area in the future," Magaña said.