Local Cumberland Farms manager hangs up his hat after 50-year career

Steve and Peggy Genovesi, pictured, met 36 years ago while working at Cumberland Farms. Until Steve's retirement, the husband and wife were the longest-tenured EG America employees.

 

WEST WARWICK — Early on in his career with Cumberland Farms, Steve Genovesi knew that he would be in it for the long haul. 

“When I was 18 I used to joke with the customers and say ‘47 more years, I’m going to retire,’” Steve said, standing among snack foods in an aisle of the Cumberland Farms store in Phenix. “Then it was 46 years, then 45, and then after a while it wasn’t a joke anymore.”

In fact, Steve stayed with the company for a few years longer than he’d always said he would. Last Tuesday marked 50 years since his first day on the job, and two days later, the store manager finally hung up his hat. 

“I just realized I loved what I did,” Steve, 68, said of staying at the convenience store chain for as long as he did. Nearby, a letter banner had been draped between two registers, announcing to all that “the legend has retired.”

Originally from Barrington, Steve’s first job ever was as a pump attendant at a local Mobil station at age 16. He began his career with Cumberland Farms as a relief manager when he turned 18, the company’s minimum age for employment.

“I started as early as I could, and I stood as long as I could,” he said during his final shift Thursday.

Steve bounced around to Cumby’s locations in Pawtucket, Attleboro, Seekonk and Barrington before landing around 36 years ago at the store in Phenix — and that’s where he met Peggy. 

Theirs is a Cumberland Farms love story.  

“It was taboo at the time, I was her area supervisor,” Steve said, recalling the early days of their relationship. “But I did not ask her out — she asked me.”

Steve had been hesitant to go out with Peggy, who had already been working at the Phenix Cumberland Farms for 10 years when he transferred there, because he knew it would be frowned upon. But he eventually said yes, and the rest is history. 

The Genovesis were married in 1985 and settled in West Warwick, just a street away from where both were employed. They had two kids, a son and a daughter, each of whom also worked at Cumberland Farms on the way to earning master’s degrees. 

And to the day of his retirement, Steve and Peggy remained colleagues, as well as spouses. 

Until Thursday, Steve had been the longest-tenured employee of EG America, a convenience store retailer with more than 1,700 stores nationwide. That distinction now belongs to his wife, a guest services leader with 46 years at Cumberland Farms under her belt. 

Aside from the joy of working beside Peggy, Steve said it’s the people he met along the way that kept him with the company for so many years. 

“It’s a people business,” he said. “I love satisfying the guests as they come in — it gives you a feeling of satisfaction.”

Steve had gotten to know the locals quite well over the nearly four decades that he worked in West Warwick. He’ll miss serving them, he said, and will especially miss being part of the Cumberland Farms team. 

“They call us team members,” he said, “but we’re more like family members.”

Still, he’ll be around — after all, he said, the store is visible from his home. 

“I’m probably going to come here every morning to get my coffee,” he said. “It’ll be a little different, but at least I get to see everybody.”

As he joins the ranks of the retired, Steve said he doesn’t have many immediate plans. 

“I’ve never had the opportunity to plan my time before,” he said. “It’ll be a new challenge.”

There’s plenty of work to be done around the house, he added, and he looks forward to dusting off his golf clubs after years without use. He also has two grandsons with whom he’ll spend time, and his daughter last week was due to have her first child any day. 

After five decades as an employee of Cumberland Farms, Steve is ready, he said, to take a break. 

“It’s been a great ride,” he said. “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it.”

kgravelle@ricentral.com

 

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(5) comments

kaisehai288

I read this article! I hope you will continue to have such articles to share with everyone! thank you!

kaisehai288

Amazing information providing by your article, thank you so much for taking the time to share a wonderful article.

leftyrite

Thought I'd continue to celebrate your retirement with you. Why not? You seem to understand the best things in life. Therefore--support!! [thumbup][beam]

leftyrite

Nobody reads these commentaries. I write these for my own amusement. Love to see my words turn into print. You had a great career.

leftyrite

To love what you do--that's the secret. Congratulations, Steve. Enjoy your well-deserved retirement.[smile][beam][rolleyes][rolleyes][thumbup]

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