Sobeys Mount Pearl, Nfld.
How did you get into the grocery/CPG business?
I started as a part-time bakery clerk in 1989 at Miracle Foodmart in Georgetown, Ont. Our two children were in school full time so I was looking for a job to fill my time. It was perfect because I could work flexible shifts and I loved it immediately, even though I had no experience in baking.
What do you think is your best quality?
My ability to plan in the spur of the moment. Whether it is a weather situation, a staffing crisis, COVID or an emergency request to help the community, I can always successfully pull together the resources needed and make it look easy.
What do you like most about your job?
I love that every day brings a new opportunity to do better. I love the seasonality of retail, and that my team is always excited about changes in merchandising whether it is a new planogram or new fixtures. I love identifying potential in employees and helping them grow to become leaders, especially when they haven’t discovered it in themselves yet.
What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
In May 2022, I was one of 12 leaders in the Atlantic region to receive the Empire Retail Impact Award, which recognizes the exemplary efforts of store, warehouse and e-commerce teams throughout the pandemic. I was chosen on behalf of my store’s community support of healthcare workers at a nearby COVID outdoor testing site in February 2021. We provided warm meals for them every day.
What has been a career highlight or one of your greatest career achievements?
When my husband wanted to retire back to Newfoundland from Ontario, I reached out to the HR manager at Sobeys in Newfoundland about eventually coming to work for them. Two years later, I was offered a position as a Sobeys store manager in training in Newfoundland, and without hesitation we packed up everything and moved home. A year later, I became the store manager at Sobeys Mount Pearl. Looking back, it was a very high risk move, but it was the best move I ever made.
What are you passionate about outside of work?
Up until the pandemic, I was a four-year volunteer with the CIBC Run for the Cure as the community outreach member. My mom is a two-time breast cancer survivor. I feel it is important to give back to your community either by being personally involved or by supporting those who help others through your business.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Don’t ever hesitate to take a chance. If you stay true to who you are and what you believe in, others will see it and choose you to be on their team. I have never believed this as much as since I came to Sobeys in 2010.
Click here for the full list of 2022 Star Women in Grocery award winners.