Fareway manager to return to Iowa: New manager to come from Owatonna store
WORTHINGTON -- It seems like yesterday Damian McGrane arrived in town to take on the grocery manager position at Fareway in Worthington. Just over three years since his arrival, McGrane will be leaving Worthington for a manager position in Peosta...
WORTHINGTON - It seems like yesterday Damian McGrane arrived in town to take on the grocery manager position at Fareway in Worthington.
Just over three years since his arrival, McGrane will be leaving Worthington for a manager position in Peosta, Iowa. He made the decision to be closer to his family in his home state of Iowa.
Tim Stebbins, assistant manager at an Owatonna location, will become the new manager for the Worthington store.
A Fareway employee for 21 years, McGrane bounced around from store to store, including Iowa locations Storm Lake, Cresco, Newton and Ames, as well as Stewartville, Minnesota, before arriving in Worthington.
“I’ve been moving around a lot the last 21 years,” McGrane said with a laugh.
McGrane worked part-time with Fareway during college at Iowa State University. He graduated with a bachelors degree in computer engineering, but enjoyed his part-time work so much he went full-time working at the grocery store.
“I didn’t want a desk job; I wanted to do a variety of things with my life,” McGrane said. “That’s what I love about this job - you get to do so many different things and interact with so many different people. It’s not the same thing day after day.”
After working as an assistant manager in Storm Lake, he was offered the manager job in Worthington. The transition was easy - McGrane was confident in being able to manage 30 to 40 employees on a daily basis.
“When I was assistant manager at Storm Lake we had like 150 people, so this is peanuts,” he said. “As managers, by the time we get to this stage in our career, I think we’re well-prepared for it.”
The biggest challenge for a grocery store manager is offering products that cater to the population, according to McGrane. Worthington has a more diverse population than most rural towns, but McGrane said his previous locale in Storm Lake had a similar population, making him all the more ready for the job.
“When you go into a new environment, finding out what the customer wants is the biggest challenge and once you get that figured out, it’s not rocket science, it’s just selling groceries,” McGrane said. “I’ve learned over the years if it’s not very important to do so, there’s no reason to upset the apple cart. I am the one person that’s new to the environment, everybody else has been here, so it’s easier for one person to adapt than to ask 40 people to adapt.”
For McGrane, the most difficult part of leaving Worthington is leaving behind all of the people he met since moving to town.
“I really love this town and I really love this community,” McGrane said. “And if it was a little closer to home, I think I’d stay here, but I think it’s important to my family to get back to my family.”