Derbyshire butcher turned store manager celebrates hitting 30 years’ service at Central England Co-op

A butcher turned Derbyshire supermarket boss is celebrating after clocking up 30 years of keeping the community stocked with food and essentials.

Steve Herbert, store manager at Central England Co-op’s Eckington Supermarket, began his working life as a trainee butcher before leading a range of stores across the East Midlands.

The 61-year-old from Chesterfield said he has thoroughly enjoyed his 30 years but admits the challenges of the last two months as the Coronavirus outbreak created unprecedented demand for food and essentials, was something he could never have imagined when starting out.

He said: “It has undoubtedly been tough but the team at Eckington have done excellently over the last two months. It has become the norm now but at first it was a challenge to get the shelves stocked fast enough and to bring in safety measures to keep customers and colleagues safe.

“However, I have always been fortunate to have good teams around me and that’s certainly been the case over the last eight years I’ve been at Eckington.

“I have always said as a manager if you look after your colleagues they will look after you and the positive results will follow.”

Steve, who has been married to wife Alison for 41 years and has three children and five grandchildren, said he has had some great times working at Central England Co-op after changing career paths.

He said: “I am a trained butcher by trade, starting as a trainee when I was 12 and by 17 I was managing my own butchery.

“I then worked a bit for another retailer as an area manager spending hours on the road and was glad when I joined Central England Co-op and was able to settle down and I have had some really happy times.

“I started out at our Elder Way store in Chesterfield managing for 12 years, before spells at Jacksdale, Leabrooks, Holme Hall and Duckmanton.

“I’ve enjoyed it everywhere I’ve been, however I’ve particularly enjoyed it over the last eight years at Eckington. It’s a great team and a great community to be a part of.”

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Notes to editors

About Central England Co-operative

Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK with interests in food, funeral, floral, travel and property investment.

Co-operatives have always been there for their communities; they were formed to protect them and help them flourish. 

Our 7,900 colleagues serving our Members and customers work hard to ensure that co-operative values, principles and spirit flow through everything we do to help support and improve our local communities.

Owned by hundreds of thousands of Members, we have over 430 trading outlets across 16 counties including West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. 

We are proud of our reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility.

We invest a percentage of our trading profit into local communities through our Community Dividend Fund scheme, have donated over £1.3 million to our corporate charity partner Dementia UK and also operate a pioneering food redistribution partnership with FareShare Midlands so unsold food goes to those in need.

Visit for more information or follow us on Facebook or Twitter using @mycoopfood

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