2021 Star Women in Grocery winner Jennifer Newton (Q&A)
Canadian Grocer staff
Store 888, Division 58, 150 West Street Simcoe, Ont.
How did you get into the grocery/CPG business?
When I was in high school and looking for my first job, I was lucky enough to have a family friend who owned a Food Basics in Brantford. After I was interviewed I was so excited to have a job with a company that has a lot of opportunity for growth. That was in 2002 and I’ve been happily with Food Basics ever since.
What are you proudest about in terms of your work?
During the pandemic I developed a grocery program for our local farmers which helped to get them food for the migrant workers, from the safety of their home. Being able to offer this service to our community has been beneficial all around, reducing our store capacity while still achieving sales.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career?
Starting out so young within the company, I’ve had to work hard to show my dedication and determination though the years. I’ve shown my wide range of capabilities as I worked my way through every job and department within the store.
What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?
Don't take things too personally, and don’t be so hard on yourself.
What has been a career highlight or one of your greatest achievements?
During my third year being an assistant manager, I was unexpectedly put in a position to act as store manager. There were many long days, late nights and a lot of homework to figure out what needed to be done to keep the store running smoothly. At the time a promotion was the last thing on my mind, so to be promoted to store manager and have all my hard work and passion seen and acknowledged felt even more rewarding.
What do you like most about your job?
Being able to bond with my customers while providing the best shopping experience in my store. Another is overcoming the day-to-day challenges with people I can rely on and who make everything I do worthwhile. I know I have people in my corner that I can count on, like my specialists, district manager and wonderful staff. They make working together enjoyable and efficient.
Anything else you’d like to say?
I am so very thankful for the accolade. Being a wife, a mum of two boys, and a boss has me very busy, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Click here for the full list of 2021 Star Women in Grocery award winners.