IGA fetes Katrina Cobb after 39 years

Longtime bookkeeper for the Blythewood IGA, Katrina Cobb, (wearing sash) was surprised with a retirement party on Friday, March 29, by co-workers and former employees that included five of the store managers she’s worked for over the last 39 years, from left: current store manager Kevin Portee, Richard Moore, Lewis Humphries, Harry Young & Clay Connor. Also shown are: Kathy Chapel, Rachel Titus, & Mera Kroening. | Photo: Barbara Ball

BLYTHEWOOD – When IGA bookkeeper Katrina Cobb, 62, arrived at work on Friday, March 29, it was her last day of an almost 39-year career at the Blythewood IGA.

The occasion didn’t go unnoticed.


To her surprise, the day tuned into a retirement party planned by her co-workers and with many former co-workers and store managers in attendance to reminisce, wish her well, and munch on a party room full of sandwiches, snacks and the best desserts the store has to offer.

It was the end of a career that started in 1985 when Cobb’s dad, Nick Thomas, opened the Blythewood IGA on McNulty Street, and was the store manager. Cobb, then 23, began working as the store’s bookkeeper. While her dad retired a few years later, Cobb stayed on, eventually becoming the store’s head bookkeeper, a position she held until her retirement on Friday.

During that time, she worked under at least 10 managers, including Harry Young who, at 20-something years, was the store’s longest serving manager.

“I’ve enjoyed it all,” Cobb said. “Thirty-nine years is a long time, so I probably wouldn’t still be here if it hadn’t been enjoyable. I’ve worked with some of my fellow employees for 25 years. It’s been a wonderful group. There’s never been much turnover in the core staff here, so we all became kind of like family. I would have to say that there is an unusual closeness among this store’s employees. We really are like family.  Over the years, we’ve shared so much.”

A resident of Lugoff, Cobb is married with two adult children, three grandchildren and two nephews, who she says are like her children.

“Growing up, our children were the same age as Mr. Young’s children and our first grandchild and the Young’s first grandchild were born a couple of weeks apart. Now, both our grandchildren and Mr. Young’s grandchildren are playing travel ball. So, I guess our families will continue to see each other at ball games,” she said.

Cobb says that while she will no longer be working at the store, she’ll be in and out shopping and visiting with her longtime co-workers and customers.

Contact us: (803) 767-5711 | P.O. Box 675, Blythewood, SC 29016 | [email protected]