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Retiree finds being a Kroger employee fulfilling

Wayne Steffen makes sure that the banana table at the Carmel Kroger is "neat and tidy."

More than four decades were enough. That’s how long Wayne Steffen spent in sales, rising to be responsible for 100 stores with a flooring distributor.

After 45 years, he decided to retire. But he wasn’t ready to sit still. Wayne’s wife didn’t want that either. “If your wife doesn’t want you at home,” he said, “you don’t want to be at home.” 

So, five years ago, Wayne became a Kroger associate, working in a variety of roles around the store. “It’s completely different” from his old job, he said, “and that’s what I wanted.”

Kroger shoppers in Carmel, Indiana, may see him anywhere from the parking lot to produce. Wayne is very particular about the banana table, knowing how popular the fruit is, and how its appearance affects Kroger’s commitment to be Full, Fresh and Friendly. The display needs to “look nice.”

Hoisting 40-pound banana boxes and walking the store ensures that he gets his exercise. “This is my gym,” Wayne said. He estimates he gets in 14,000 to as many as 20,000 steps every day on the job. “I don’t have to join a Y or anything.”


The Chiquita Banana company described Wayne as “truly inspiring. His attention to the banana table not only enhances the shopping experience but also demonstrates our shared commitment to freshness and quality. Thank you, Wayne, for your hard work and dedication! We're proud to be associated with companies like Kroger who prioritize employee well-being and growth opportunities!”


Wayne considers his life at Kroger “a good fit for me,” and predicted it would be the same for any retiree who’s determined to be active. “You will have to work. If you think you’re gonna come in and sit on a chair at Kroger, you’re not. You’re gonna be busy. “I’ve enjoyed it.”

Eric Halvorson

Kroger spokesperson


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