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Jones retiring as store manager

Cleveland Jones was playing ball with the boys from Big Bear Grocery when store manager Joe Young offered him a job.

Jones, who was working for Hollywood Candy Company in Montgomery, took the job for the convenience of working close to home. Six and a half years later, he had worked up to manager.

A year later, upon the closing of Big Bear, he went to Winn-Dixie and served as assistant manager for two years. Shortly thereafter, Jones went into business with his family and built Grandview Grocery on Enterprise Road.

“Back when gas was 39 cents a gallon,” is the quickest reply Jones came up with when asked when the store was built.

After managing Grandview for more than seven years, Jones went to work for Sav-Mor Associated Foods as co-manager alongside Jack Meek. He soon became manager and decided to hang around for a while — 26 years and 11 months to be exact.

Tomorrow, Jones will make his final career move — that of retirement.

Phillip Davis, one of the store’s owners, said Jones will leave some big shoes to fill.

“Well, you could set your clock with him,” Davis said. “If he was supposed to be in at 6:30, you could hear the key unlocking the door at 6:29. He was always on time, never late.”

Davis added Jones always filled his shift, even when he was sick.

“He was dedicated to what he was supposed to do. Cleveland truly loved to come to work at Sav-Mor.”

Retirement doesn’t mean Jones will stay still, though. He says he plans on driving to Alaska.

“I’m tired of hurrying,” he said.

Any longtime customers or good friends are encouraged to drop by tomorrow and wish Jones a happy retirement.