A FAMILIAR face around the Victoria Point and Cleveland Coles stores, Kate Alcorn is celebrating 20 years on the job and has taken a new employee under her wing.
Ms Alcorn, who has Down Syndrome, started work at Cleveland Coles on September 18, 2000 as the "lolly lady", in charge of maintaining the store's supply of lollies and nuts.
After a long stint at Cleveland Coles, she moved to the Victoria Point store and has become popular among customers and her co-workers.
Throughout her employment, she has been assisted by Cleveland-based disability employment service Connect2Group.
Employment services team leader Leonnie Howard said on starting at Coles, Ms Alcorn had promised to work her hardest, and had followed through on that promise for the last 20 years.
"Kate likes to know the facts, what's going on and when it's going on," Ms Howard said.
"She gets concerned whenever anyone's unwell or tired.
"She's always asking for regular feedback."
Coles team leader Mike Parker said Ms Alcorn had a sunny disposition and was a pleasure to work with.
Coles threw a COVID-safe party to celebrate the milestone, with guests including Redlands MP Kim Richards, councillor Paul Golle and Connect2Group chief executive Paul Williams, as well as Coles staff and Ms Alcorn's family.
Mother Carolyn surprised her daughter, coming out of hospital to attend the celebration.
Also in attendance was Aliesha Sneesby, an employee also with Down Syndrome who started work at the Victoria Point store recently.
Store manager Shelly Underwood said Ms Alcorn had been using her 20 years of experience to coach Ms Sneesby on the job.
Ms Alcorn - who has won awards for customer service - said she was proud to be celebrating two decades at Coles.
"I love customers, when they come up to me and need help. That's the highlight of my day," she said.