There are over 400 workers in Ballinasloe classed as essential retail during this pandemic. One such worker is James Caulfield, a 61-year-old native from Creagh, entering his third decade in Grocery Retail, in a long varied working career.
Technology has evolved since James started out at Haslam & Mahon in Main Street, aged 12 and grocery retail has certainly come a long way since rashers were sliced to order.
James remembers: “We used to call him Horace Jenkins – Manager but he ran it himself along with his wife. You’d do your deliveries to your customers by bike with your box of messages on the front.” James remains nostalgic of Haslom’s, but is amazed at how retail has progressed through changes in technology over the years.
A visit to the shops is great for mental health and wellbeing during lockdown, it has allowed customers a quick physical hello should they meet loved ones. For so many of us – often a few pleasant words exchanged with our cashier or sales assistant is as much social engagement that we have outside of family in the week!
James who currently holds a senior position with a leading multiple chain exclaims: “I am very proud to be of essential service to the local community of Ballinasloe in these tough times. Sooner rather than later we will be coming out of this pandemic, and I hope that I, along with my customers will be able to move onto the new norm and I hope to accommodate them in every way possible.”
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