Kroger employee and senior shopper forge unique friendship - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Kroger employee and senior shopper forge unique friendship

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - Margaret Vaughn has been shopping at the Holiday Manor Kroger for decades.

"Since '77. You figure the years!" she laughed.

Out of the 4,000 customers who walk through the Holiday Manor Kroger each day, Vaughn stands out to one particular employee: Louie Melton.

Vaughn, a widow since 1993, has no family in town, so Melton looks after her.

"I really don't look at her as a shopper," he said. "I kind of took her under my wing as my own. I didn't want to see her struggle to get through the store." 

Vaughn has bragged to managers about Melton helping her.

"I said, 'You have a hustler up there!" (The manager) said, 'Who? Louie?' He knew who the hustler was," Vaughn smiled.

Their friendship began over cantaloupes.

"I asked him once if he could help me find a melon," Vaughn said. "The man who usually helped me was sick or something."  

"From there, it just blossomed," Melton said.

"Well, I pestered him," Vaughn laughed. "It took a little effort, I think."

In October, Louie noticed his friend stopped coming. After a little digging, he found put she'd been in a car wreck and was no longer driving.

That is when his offer started.

"When he gets off work he calls, and he writes down what I give him, and he gets it," Vaughn said. "And half an hour, 45 minutes later, he's over."

Every Thursday, Melton shops for Vaughn and delivers her groceries.

"He comes in, he puts them in the refrigerator, he even knows the shelves now where it goes, he knows where it all goes," Vaughn said.

Melton says he does it for one reason.

"Reminds me of my grandmother," he said.

"He knows," Vaughn said. "I don't have to say it. He knows I appreciate what he does." 

It is a rare friendship formed in the produce aisle while picking out fruit.

"Well, I wouldn't really call it a friendship anymore," Melton said. "[It's] family."

Melton has even taken Vaughn to a family dinner. She is now friends with his grandmother, and they chat on the phone about every week. 

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