A LOT has changed since Gai Selway began working for Coles in 1971, but her love for the job has remained the same.
The 65-year-old is one of the region's longest-serving Coles team members, and this week notched up 50 years of service at Coles Gunnedah.
The self-service Coles stores we know today are a lot different to the Variety stores of the past which set the standard for supermarkets into the 21st century.
When Ms Selway began work as a teenager at the Gunnedah Coles Variety store it didn't sell food, and she predominately looked after apparel, hardware, garden and kitchenware.
"Safety, technology, everything has changed," she said.
"I started in a variety store where you were behind a counter and you used to cut glass to divide the items on the shelves."
Ms Selway worked at the variety store until it closed its doors on December 2005, only stopping work briefly to have her two children.
While waiting for the new Gunnedah Coles store to be built, she completed some short stints at the Tamworth and Coonabarabran Coles and BI-LO stores.
When the current store opened in November 2006, she was Gunnedah's longest serving Coles team member and she's stuck around ever since.
"I just love the job," she said.
"The team you work with are like your family and I've kept in contact with a lot of the people I've worked with over the years."
She plans to complete another 12 months service at the Gunnedah supermarket before enjoying retirement.
"After working for so long, it's still a little bit daunting to think about it, but I think I do need a rest and I'll spend more time with my grandkids," she said.
"I will miss the team and seeing a lot of the customers.
"Reaching 50 years is something I had aimed to do, once I reached 45 I thought well I got this far I'll go on to 50 years.
"It's just starting to sink in a bit."
Over the past 15 years she has worked in almost every department, but now spends most of her time serving customers at the check outs.
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