2022 Star Women in Grocery winner Rima Rabba (Q&A)
Head of Marketing
Rabba Fine Foods
How did you get into the grocery/CPG business?
Growing up, my parents ran a neighbourhood store in East Gwillimbury, Ont. You can say it is something I was born into. I worked for my father throughout high school and, in doing so, I gained invaluable industry experience and a purposeful work ethic. After university, I worked for Rabba Fine Foods as a junior category manager and eventually moved into a supervisor role in the fresh deli and HMR department. Today, as the head of marketing, I am responsible for all promotional, advertising, and charitable activities at Rabba Fine Foods.
Biggest challenge faced in your career?
I believe that challenges, big or small, are circumstantial. An issue we face today can look completely different tomorrow. Information, strategies, components, and – as we’ve all seen and experienced in the past couple years – environments can change. With that I’ve learned to be fluid, to pivot, to focus on my strengths, to rise to the challenges and to be open to learning new things. I also lean on the strong team around me and consider their insights to determine the next best step. I am a firm believer that with challenges come opportunities to investigate new perspectives; they offer a chance to re-evaluate the process and a means to develop new skills.
Career highlight/greatest achievement?
This recognition is a career highlight. Being promoted to head of marketing in 2019, however, opened a breadth of opportunities for me to accomplish incredible things. I introduced a robust, multi-level digital and in-store marketing program, I built up our audience reach substantially, enhanced our program strategies, brought to life initiatives in which our vendor partners have become highly engaged, and optimized digital and traditional methods of promotion that have resulted in considerable sales lifts. We’ve also taken phenomenal strides in consumer engagement and created an interactive space that focuses directly on our target market.
Best career advice you ever received?
Just take the step. We will never make progress if we remain in the same place. I urge women reading this today to find your balance, make your moves and keep in mind the glass ceiling cannot break without the brave, bold strides of women.
What do you like most about your job?
I am most passionate about the Rabba Roots Community Program. We provide resources to some of our most vulnerable communities; often in partnership with our wonderful vendors. I am proud to work with community organizations like The Mississauga Food Bank, Trillium Health Partners, and The Good Shepherd Shelter. Compassion, charity, and goodwill are values practiced in my everyday life, so I am honoured to be part of a family business that has the same consideration for humanity.
What are your passions outside of work?
I am a proud wife and a mother to two young children. Engaging in family time and encouraging positive experiences is high on my priority list. I also have a strong interest in being a bigger part of my community. I volunteer my time as a board member for a local organization, as well as being generally active in school fundraisers, park cleanups or tending to community gardens. It is important that my family understands the importance of making a positive community impact.
Click here for the full list of 2022 Star Women in Grocery award winners.