Skip to main content

2023 Star Women in Grocery Award Winner Melanie Powell (Q&A)

Store-Level Star
Melanie Powell
Melanie Powell

Melanie Powell

Store Manager
Coleman Group of Companies

What are your greatest career achievements?

I entered the grocery industry as a bakery clerk and feel very proud of what I have achieved since then. In the early years, I climbed the ranks at the store earning several positions of which I am very proud. 

Gaining the position of payroll assistant in 2009 was a career highlight that moved me from the retail side to the support side of Colemans. The 10 years that followed were full of opportunities to learn about our company and to learn new skills. The day I became payroll manager, I was so proud! But my greatest achievement by far is attaining the store manager position at a new Coleman's store that opened in my hometown. Most recently the store earned two Independent Grocer of the Year awards from CFIG (Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers—the National Silver Award and the Quebec/Atlantic Regional Award both in the small surface category).  It was so amazing to share these achievements with my amazing team!  

What is your best quality?

I am blessed with patience and have used that gift to help me handle the problems that face me every day, particularly the people issues. I have been told that I know just what to say when dealing with an employee issue. My time working in payroll, which was housed in our human resources department, gave me many opportunities to watch how the HR team handled tough situations. I learned from the best!

What is the best advice you've received?

"Treat everyone the way you would want to be treated." I have been forever grateful for that wonderful advice, which I believe to my core and use every day. I pass it on to others whenever there’s an opportunity to do so. It is my hope that I may influence others to carry out that same advice in their everyday lives and in their workplaces.

What is the biggest challenge you've faced in your career?

It was a combination of circumstances that  happened at the same time and created a perfect storm. Having accepted the store manager position, I had to leave the place I had called home for 20 years, open a new store as a brand-new store manager and train 30-plus new staff—all while maintaining a family life, which included a new baby! 

What keeps you motivated at work?

Each day I wonder what today will bring; no day is like any other in our industry. Somedays it is learning something new, or it could be teaching a colleague something new. On other days, it is the excitement of seeing a display take form from the ideas of a co-worker and then seeing it win first place in a competition. I am re-energized and motivated each time I share in my team’s excitement and hear them say they can't wait to start planning the next one.

What do you like most about your job? 

That is the easiest question of all; it is working with the best staff I could ever have asked for. It's not like going to work at all. We are all one big family. Without my team, these past two years would not nor could not have been as successful as they have been. 

What do you like to do when you're not working?

Away from my work, I delight in spending every moment I can with my husband and my two boys (ages 2 and 10). We spend every chance we get outside. Enjoying an outside fire is a favourite family activity. We are looking so forward to summer and can't wait for camping season to start.

Click here for the full list of 2023 Star Women in Grocery award winners.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds