Northeast Giant Food Stores manager Aaron Abrams reflects on 17 years working at the company as it celebrates its 95th anniversary.
Most people may think of working at a grocery store as a part-time job to earn extra money during school. For Aaron Abrams, he’s made a 17-year career out of it.
Abrams is the store manager at the city’s only Giant location at 2550 Grant Ave. He’s been at this location for approximately two and a half years after working at many other locations and in other positions throughout the years.
For Abrams, his favorite part of the job is interacting with the customers.
“The best way to be a neighborhood market is to know what the neighbors want,” Abrams said. Walking through the aisles, he greets customers on a first-name basis. There’s even one vegan customer he knows who is always telling them about new items – “I tell them to bring the package in so we can look into it, even if that looks like me stopping somewhere else to make sure I get it for that particular customer,” he said.
Abrams sees the store as a place welcoming and supportive of everyone in the community.
“This location in particular is almost like a melting pot,” he said. “There are different nationalities and cultures that live in this area, and we’re able to interact with each and every culture and nationality that comes into the store.”
The store is partnered with organizations like Liberty USO and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, providing them with regular donations and volunteers. In October, the company donated a $1 million grant to Philabundance, which will go toward increasing access to healthy food for children.
Abrams also highlighted the store’s involvement with the community, mentioning partnerships with the police by donating food and water for National Night Out.
Throughout Abrams’ long career with the company, one memory that sticks out is going down to Disney World in Florida to celebrate raising money for the Children’s Miracle Network. Abrams won a fundraising competition and got to personally meet the kids who benefited from the funds.
“We made it into a family vacation, but it was the Children’s Miracle Network event that was the most memorable,” he said. “You met every child that represented every state at this ball. It brought alive what we actually do at the register.”
The Northeast location is the only location in the city, though Giant plans to open another store in Center City next year.
Abrams has experience with management and human resources, and is far from getting bored.
“That’s the great thing about this company, you get to do a few things,” he said. “If anyone asks me what I want to do when I grow up, hey, I’m still finding out.” ••