Shirley Brewer | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Shirley Brewer

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Shirley Brewer, a cook at McDade's, has worked at the Fondren grocery store for 27 years.

Shirley Brewer has seen plenty of changes from her perch at the Fondren McDade's Market. Brewer has worked at the grocery store for the past 27 years, seeing the business change names and owners from Jitney Jungle to Winn-Dixie to, in 2004, McDade's.

She started working at Jitney as a deli clerk on Jan. 21, 1984. Today, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the store is honoring Brewer, now a cook, and serving cake and punch to customers. The celebration is the work of McDade's patron and Fondren resident Dot Primos, who recently asked Brewer how long she had worked at the store.

A Jackson native, Brewer, 50, was part of Central High School's last graduating class in 1977. After graduation, she worked at a grocery store and dry-cleaning business before joining Jitney. Brewer has only good things to say about McDade's ownership.

"I love them," she says of Greg and Kathy McDade, who own four grocery stories in the city.

Brewer now lives in Raymond with her husband. A mother of three, she describes herself as a "mother hen," always traveling to her children's' sports games.

Retirement is not on the horizon, Brewer says.

"My husband told me to retire when I quit spending money," she says with a laugh.

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