Gnelle Israel has worked at the same Asheville coffee shop, in what is now the Rite Aid Pharmacy on Merrimon Avenue, since 1972.
Born and raised in the Enka-Candler area, Israel first began working at the company’s Patton Avenue location, in downtown Asheville, soon after high school. At lunch one day with her mother at the coffee shop in the Haywood Street location—where her mother worked for 14 years—she met the supervisor, who said he needed help downtown.
“I started working a couple hours and then kept going up in hours,” she says.
Forty-three years later, she’s still working and is now the coffee shop manager at one of two remaining Rite Aid stores in Asheville.
Once a staple of many Eckerd Drugstores in the southeast, these coffee shops all but disappeared in the 1990s when Eckerd, which was bought out by Rite Aid in 2007, began closing down those that remained. ...
photos, essay by Jacob BibaRead the full article