2022 Star Women in Grocery winner Marie-Josée Bernard (Q&A)
Store Level Star
Metro Plus Lachine, Québec
How did you get into the grocery business?
I began my professional career in retail at age 22 and quickly became interested in the food industry. Curious and passionate, I was constantly looking to improve my knowledge in food management and develop my entrepreneurial skills. In September 2016, I proudly joined the great Metro family as a franchise owner.
What are some of your greatest career achievements?
One great achievement is that I negotiated and drafted a new collective agreement for the Metro Plus in Lachine with union representatives and our human resources team. This agreement promotes flexibility, mobility and adaptability for employees. An ongoing training program, much appreciated by my team, was also born from this approach: Employees can work in different departments of the supermarket and switch from one task to another, which is quite unique in the industry.
How do you promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace?
My in-store management is focused on hospitality, openness, respect and acceptance of differences. I have on-the-job training for an individual with autism to become a master butcher (PMAT). I have hosted interns in the workplace as part of a social reintegration program. I also offer the accessibility of supermarket jobs to retired people and newcomers from Ukraine and other countries.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Be positive and passionate! Take care of your people and your people will take care of your customers and your business.
What do you like most about being a store owner?
Every day, I get to talk with each of my employees about personal or professional subjects. I like to support them in their professional development, so they improve day after day and achieve their goals. I also enjoy serving my customers and talking with them. It’s important for me to develop closeness with my customers, my team and my community to offer a better experience.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I like spending quality time outside to do activities with my four children and my husband. My family is always my priority. I find time to volunteer with my children in my community to improve the quality of life of vulnerable people.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I am happy to be able to work for a company that allows me to grow personally and professionally. Metro has strong leaders, and I am grateful for that. I am also very lucky to have such a supportive family who supports my career decisions and the time devoted to it. I am very honoured and humbled to have received this award.
Click here for the full list of 2022 Star Women in Grocery award winners.