Longtime Rome Kroger General Manager Steve Van Meter will be leaving the Rome grocery store at the end of the week. Van Meter, who has been transferred to a Kroger in Marietta, said that it is always good to get another challenge.
Van Meter, who hails from Rome, started with the company in 1977 and worked for five years before going into the grocer’s management program. He returned to Rome from 1992 through 2000, then returned in 2003 to open the new store in the Riverbend shopping center.
“I was very fortunate that I was able to stay in Rome, because it’s very unusual to stay in a location more than two or three years,” Van Meter said. “There are multiple moves that have been made. It’s just one of those things and it was my turn.”
This week, Van Meter is tending to one final inventory of the Rome store which has expanded multiple times since it opened in 2003, and now encompasses more than 80,000 square feet.
Wayne Wall, another veteran of the Kroger system, will be coming to Rome to succeed Van Meter. Wall is no stranger to Northwest Georgia, having served previously as general manager of the Dalton store before taking a position at the Kroger district office. Most recently he has been at the massive new Kroger in Cartersville.
Van Meter, who is 59, said he was clearly closer to retirement than not.
“I’ve got a few good years left in me, but I’m clearly closer to the end than the beginning,” Van Meter said. “This is my hometown and when I retire I do plan to come back this way. All my family is here and my friends, so I’ll still be around.”