Daisy Lee Riley made history when she joined Campbell Soup Company in the 1940s and continues to inspire 80 years later. The Camden resident was one of the first Black women to work at our company.
In celebration of her 100th birthday, we recently welcomed Daisy, or as her neighbors call her “the Queen,” back to our Camden headquarters to tour the office and company archives and sit down with Mick Beekhuizen, President, Meals & Beverages.
Below is a glimpse into their conversation.
Mick: Daisy, welcome back! Should we call you “the Queen”?
Daisy: That’s what they call me!
Mick: When did you join the company?
Daisy: I’m originally from Georgia and moved to Camden in July of 1942. When I moved here, I started looking for a job and joined Campbell’s in January of 1943. It was right in the middle of World War II, so I figured this was a good place to be. I spent 43 years here until I retired in 1986.
Mick: Wow, 43 years! Did you think you’d spend your whole career here when you first joined?
Daisy: I didn’t originally plan that, but you never know what your future has in store. The Lord kept me here for a reason, and I really enjoyed it.
Mick: What was your favorite position here?
Daisy: When I first joined, at the old waterfront location, I worked in the can division and loved it! I made the lids and body and put the labels on the cans. Towards the end of my career, I moved over to another department and handled cooking for the executives.
Mick: Do you still eat Campbell’s soup?
Daisy: Of course! I just had some Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup for lunch the other day.
Mick: Is that your favorite soup?
Daisy: It’s one of them. The other is Chicken Gumbo!
Mick: Has your love of Campbell’s soup passed on to your children and grandchildren?
Daisy: Yes, my son and daughter grew up on the brands and are huge fans to this day. From SpaghettiOs and soup to Swanson and Pepperidge Farm. Growing up, we called them the original Campbell’s kids.
Mick: You retired almost 40 years ago. How are you now spending your days?
Daisy: I take it easy since I’m retired! I’m also involved with my church.
Mick: You just turned 100 years old. What’s your secret?
Daisy: Serving the Lord, doing right, and eating and drinking well.
Mick: Thank you so much for the time, Daisy, and we hope you’ll come visit us again soon.
Daisy: Thank you for having me and my family. I hope you all will live to see 100.
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