HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- A beloved longtime employee at the Kroger at Willow Lawn was celebrated Saturday by his colleagues, customers and family.
For over 20 years, Qaid Fogle has greeted customers by asking if they prefer paper or plastic.
"He started when it was Hannaford, so he's actually been in this building for 22 years. Twenty years working for Kroger," said Fogle's mother, Zaheerah Al-Baiyina.
Kroger Manager Kristen Lemle said Fogle comes into the store and greets everyone with a smile every day.
"When I first got here, he just welcomed me with open arms," Lemley said. "Took anything I asked him to do, he just went and did it without a question -- with a smile on his face."
Managers said Fogle has never missed a day of work that they can remember.
Colleagues said Fogle regularly arrives to work early with a carton of milk and his newspaper. He sits and reads in the break room before his shift begins.
Kroger celebrated Fogle's 20-year anniversary by surrounding him with his family and coworkers.
"We've actually got tons of cards and thank-yous and sweet nothings that our customers have written," Lemley revealed.
The show of support was especially touching for the mother of the employee customers love to see at the store's checkouts.
"When he was born, I had him at 6 months, he was breached birth and he was like less than three pounds when he was born," Al-Baiyina remembered.
However, Al-Baiyina said her son has "had his struggles," but has overcome every obstacle.
"I'm very proud of him," Al-Baiyina said. "He's come a long way and he's proved himself to be a good, decent young man."
Al-Baiyina said her son is a blessing.
"He's really a good person at work and at home," Al-Baiyina said. "And he'll do anything for anybody. He has that type of spirit."
Fogle said he doesn't know if he will be at store for another 20 years, but that he loves coming to work wearing a smile that brightens the store.
"I want to thank all the customers and my employees," Fogle added.