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40 years and still going strong

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Local woman has been KFC employee for four decades

By John Barnhart

She’s 70, but she has no intention of retiring.

    Last week, on Aug. 1,  the owners of Bacon Enterprises, which owns the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in Bedford, honored Dorothy Carter for 40 years with the company. It was exactly 40 years ago to the day that Carter and her first husband, the late Kennis King, were hired by Bacon to open the KFC restaurant in Bedford, serving as its managers.
    Carter  stayed  with  the  company,  and after 20years of running the Bedford KFC, moved into other management positions. She is now the director of training and measurement systems. This means that she travels to all 13 of Bacon’s KFC restaurants making sure that all of them maintain the company’s standards for cleanliness, customer service and safety.
    “She has the reputation ‘tough taskmaster’ but has the love and respect of her teams,” said Bonny Shelton, who along with her husband, Bill, and son, Marcus, own Bacon.
    “She still works positions in restaurants as well,” said Marcus Shelton, Bacon’s director of operations. Actually, it was his grandfather who originally hired Carter.
    Carter pitches in wherever she sees a need, and she believes that doing this helps her keep current with actual operations.
    She also does training.
    “When new products come out, I do the training,” she said.
    “She had a big hand in the roll-out of a new product called ‘Original Recipe Bites’,” said Marcus Shelton.
    What keeps her on the job?
    “Me, begging her to stay,” Marcus commented.
    “I’m not a person who likes to sit around,” Carter said.
    Her work environment is another factor.
    “It [Bacon] is family owned and they treat me like family,” she said.
    Carter is a Bedford native and a Bedford High School graduate. She and her husband, Bobby, live in Bedford.
    “We are members of Trinity Baptist Church,” she said.
    In addition to the Bedford KFC, Bacon owns two restaurants in Danville and restaurants in Martinsville, Collinsville, Pulaski, Covington, Altavista, Christiansburg, Farmville and South Boston, as well as restaurants in Roxboro and Eden in North Carolina.