The Canadian Independent Grocer of the Year Awards awards capped off the two-day Grocery Innovations Canada conference and tradeshow in Toronto Tuesday evening.
The CFIG Awards Program recognizes the success of outstanding independent retailers and offers insights into innovations changing the way retailers compete. Each store is visited by a retail management expert who evaluates competing stores based on retailing excellence and innovation, store team performance, customer service, space utilization, freshness and cleanliness. The awards were presented in front of a gala audience of 500 leading grocers, suppliers and distributors.
The National Gold Award winners for Top Independent Grocer of the Year included Freson Bros. Stony Plain Alta. (large surface), Longo Bros. York Mills, Toronto (medium surface) and Blind Bay Village Grocer, Blind Bay, B.C. (small surface).
Tofield IGA in Tofield, Alta. received the Arnold Rands Heritage Award – an award given to the year's best privately-owned store that has also been in the same family for at least two generations and in the same community for 35 years.
In-store merchandising was also recognized, with three stores taking home a Canadian Master Merchandiser award
Colemans Garden Market in Corner Brook, N.L. won the Platinum Master Merchandiser Award and took gold in the Large Surface merchandiser category.
Gold in the Medium Surface category went to Quality Foods Parksville in B.C., while gold in the Small Surface merchandiser category went to Central Butte Fine Foods in Sask.
Oak Ridges Food Market in Richmond Hill, Ont., Pete's in Halifax, N.S., and Qualicum Foods in Qualicum Beach, B.C. were all inducted into the CFIG Hall of Fame.
Here are other winners from the Grocer of the Year Awards:
Platinum Achievement Awards
• Concord Food Centre. Thornhill, Ont.
• Freson Bros. Drumheller, Drumheller, Alta.
• Hamilton's IGA, Ponoka, Alta.
• Masstown Market, Masstown, N.S.
• Oak Ridges Food Market, Richmond Hill, Ont.
• Pete's Halifax, Halifax, N.S.
• Qualicum Foods, Qualicum Beach, B.C.
• Powell's Supermarket, Carbonear, N.L.
Regional Awards: Small Surface Category
• Blind Bay Village Grocer, Blind Bay, B.C. (B.C./Yukon region)
• Tofield IGA, Tofield, IGA (Alberta/NWT/Nunavut)
• South Hill Fine Foods, Moose Jaw, Sask. (Saskatchewan/Manitoba/northern Ontario)
• Vince's Market, Newmarket, Ont. (South-central Ontario)
• Barry's Bay Metro, Barrie's Bay, Ont. (Eastern Ontario/Quebec)
• Colemans Food Centre, Mount Pearl, N.L. (Atlantic Canada)
Regional Awards: Medium Surface Category
• Village Food Markets, Sooke, B.C. (B.C./Yukon region)
• Freson Bros. Fairveiw, Fairview, Alta. (Alberta/NWT/Nunavut)
• Battistelli's Independent Grocer, Lively, Ont. (Saskatchewan/Manitoba/northern Ontario)
• Longo Brothers York Mills, Toronto, Ont. (South-central Ontario)
• Sharpe's Food Market, Campbellford, Ont. (Eastern Ontario/Quebec)
• Powell's Supermarket, Bay Roberts, N.L. (Atlantic Canada)
Regional Awards: Large Surface Category
• Country Grocer (Bowen Rd.), Nanaimo, B.C. (B.C./Yukon region)
• Freson Bros. Stony Plain, Stony Plain, Alta. (Alberta/NWT/Nunavut)
• Winkel’s Your Independent Grocer, Espanola, Ont. (Saskatchewan/Manitoba/northern Ontario)
• Longo Brothers – Trafalgar, Oakville, Ont. (South-central Ontario)
• Metro Plouffe de Sherbrooke (rue King est), Sherbrooke, Que. (Eastern Ontario/Quebec)
• Colemans At The Gardens, Corner Brook, N.L. (Atlantic Canada)