For 54 years, customers of Kirkconnell’s Market in Cayman Brac have been treated to good customer service and a smile from longtime worker Cecile Parchman.
Ms Parchman grew up in West End Cayman Brac, never married, and never had any children. Dedicated to the job, she spent three quarters of her life making sure the family-run business reflected a friendly and happy place to shop.
She got started in the job working with Captain Kenneth Ritch just after she left school.
“I was at home one day when Captain Ritch came by and asked if I would like to work at the store,” she said. “I was so happy, I just said ‘yes sir!’ And never stopped loving it for a minute over the years.”
Gyda Kirkconnell and her husband, Mr. Ritch, ran the store on the Brac. It was destroyed in the 1932 Hurricane, but the family rebuilt it and continued on with business.
In those days, the little grocery store was located just below the Cayman Brac Museum on the main road in West End, selling a little bit of everything. In later years, it moved to another venue until it ended up in the Bight section of Cayman Brac as a well-established and functioning full-scale supermarket.
“I love my job with the Kirkconnell’s,” said Ms Parchman, 74. “The customers are very friendly and nice and when they visit they always inquire how I am doing. This makes me feel very good about the service I give to people.”
Manager of the business Moses Kirkconnell said he has the utmost gratitude for the services offered by Ms Parchman.
“She is part of the family,” he said. “I grew up admiring her being more like a sister and brother relationship than a worker. I really appreciate her as a person. not only from myself but everyone in the Kirkconnell family. Miss Parchman started off by working with Captain Kenneth Ritch and has successfully worked with family members up until today.”
During her time working at the store, Miss Parchman has held the different posts of checking, stocking, organising and bagging. During the years, she has never lost her positive attitude. This has made her an iconic figure at the store, not only to residents purchasing groceries, but to the Kirkconnell’s.
Anastascio Mena, a part-time bagger and Year 11 student at Layman Scott High School, has the highest respect for Ms Parchman and her dedication to the job.
“She is a very nice person and I love working along with her,” he said.
Asked how she keeps a positive attitude after working in one place so long, Ms Parchman said she loves the job, the people and the opportunity to give her service to something she enjoys doing.