Leadership Recipe for a Successful Family-owned Local Business
The Kenny Family
The Kenny Family, who owns and operates six ShopRite supermarkets in New Castle County, understands that building a successful business requires a strong leadership team and an ongoing understanding of customer needs and trends. Since its inception in 1995, the Kenny family ShopRite’s mission statement has been “to be the premier place to work and shop in the State of Delaware.” In a competitive retail landscape, crowded with corporately run and operated stores, a Kenny family store secret weapon is being hands-on in daily operations and utilizing its hundreds of years of combined leadership experience to fit the needs and wants of the business and customer.
Mike Fetrow is currently the general store manager at the Governors Square location in Bear. Mike resides in Bear with his wife, 2 sons, and daughter. Mike brought 16 years of grocery experience when he began his ShopRite career in 2008 as an assistant manager. Through training and mentorship, he earned a promotion to general store manager.
“Being a family-owned local business, we are able to quickly pivot on decisions that best fit our company and our customers. In my experience, you don’t see this with large corporations as there is always tons of red tape in your way. Red tape ultimately deteriorates the customer’s experience.”
A career highlight for Mike has been the ability to work alongside associates sharing his years of knowledge of the industry and guiding employees to help develop their own leadership styles and skillsets. “Watching employees who walked through the door unsure of what to do or expect, begin to grow, accept challenges and turn a job into a real career making over $100,000 a year and knowing I was part of that process, now that’s satisfaction.”
Tony Fontana has been thriving in the grocery business for more than a quarter century and leads the team as general store manager of the ShopRite at First State Plaza in Stanton, Delaware. Tony has lived in Wilmington for over 40 years and is currently raising two children with his beloved wife Mary.
Tony began his career as a night crew chief and followed the path of advancement as a frozen food manager, grocery manager, then promotions to nonperishable assistant store manager and perishable assistant manager, before ultimately earning the opportunity to run his own store as a general manager. Having spent a decade working for a corporate supermarket chain, Tony can appreciate the ability to have his own voice and direct communication and input in business decisions.
“I love that we can put our own personal touch on ordering and merchandising. We even directly work with Chris Kenny and Melissa Kenny in the planning and decision making during store renovations. They encourage us by example to personally connect with the needs of our customers and community versus a corporate store where everything is set exactly the same. We want to give our friends and neighbors the quality, price, and experience that they want and not what someone thinks is right without really knowing the customer.”
Tom Oswald launched his grocery career in 1974 and joined the Kenny Family ShopRite team in 2006. Although Tom loves to work, he also enjoys spending time with his kids and 3 grandchildren.
“Seeing customers we know on a first name basis is one of my workday highlights. Our customers can request items, and 99 percent of the time we can get it for them. That’s a great feeling when other stores can’t or won’t even bother to try.”
One of Tom’s passions is quality produce. “We work directly with local Delaware farmers who understand we want the freshest, highest quality product we can get. We only accept produce on our docks if it is something I would feel comfortable feeding my own family. Not only is it local and really fresh, but it’s also an opportunity to support other family-owned businesses here in Delaware. That is a commitment the Kenny Family is passionate about.”
If you’re looking for a rewarding new career with a locally owned family business, consider Kenny Family ShopRites.
At ShopRite, the sky’s the limit from your first day as a cashier, to the future where you may manage your own department, or a store! Discover all the career opportunities we have waiting for you. Get started today.
Kenny Family Foundation (KFF) is a non-profit organization which provides programs and donations to local organizations in New Castle County.
Kenny Family ShopRite Locations
SHOPRITE OF 1ST STATE PLAZA
1600 W Newport Pike, Wilmington
STORE HOURS: Mon-Sun 6am-9pm
SHOPRITE OF BRANDYWINE COMMONS
1300 Rocky Run Pkwy, Wilmington
HOURS: Mon-Sun 6am-9pm
SHOPRITE OF CHRISTINA CROSSING
501 S Walnut St, Wilmington
HOURS: Mon-Sun 6am-10pm
SHOPRITE OF FOUR SEASONS PLAZA
700 Plaza Dr, Newark
HOURS: Mon-Sun 6am-10pm
SHOPRITE OF GOVERNOR’S SQUARE
1101 Governors Pl, Bear
HOURS: Mon-Sun 6am-10pm
SHOPRITE OF NEWARK
19 Chestnut Hill Plaza, Newark
HOURS: Mon-Sun 7am-10pm