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2023 Star Women in Grocery Award Winner Melissa Richardson (Q&A)

Rising Star
Melissa Richardson
Melissa Richardson

Melissa Richardson

National Retail Excellence Manager
Group Bel Canada

How did you get your start in the CPG business?

In 2004, I started in CPG as a territory manager for Lindt & Sprüngli (Canada), in Vancouver.  From the moment I stepped into my first store, I knew I had arrived at an industry I would love and be passionate about. Even to this day, what I enjoy most is spending time in stores with the people that keep our shelves full, providing food to our communities coast to coast. 

What are your greatest career achievements?

In addition to my CPG experience, I have been fortunate to have been the owner/operator of a startup from 2009 to 2015, of a novel assortment of bags made from upcycled, unwanted materials, giving them a new life. I am very proud to have been selected as a 2014 Oakville Entrepreneur of the Year, Hamilton Region Top 40 under 40 and one of the Canadian Environmental Designers of the Year by the Textile Museum of Canada. I was also a spokesperson for Rogers Communications Small Business Innovators and the CIRA (Canadian Internet Registration Authority), for my company, Totem Bags Inc.

What keeps you motivated at work? 

Providing a service that is essential to Canadians. At Group Bel Canada, the environment is the company’s mission and it has built five pillars to reach its goals including making healthy products, regenerative agriculture, responsible packaging, fighting climate change and making our brands accessible to all. I am passionate about contributing to these pillars through my department, Retail Excellence. In addition, I am fortunate to work with many talented people, collectively we are encouraged to dream big allowing everyone to embrace their entrepreneurial spirit.

Best advice you've received?

"This too shall pass." It reminds me that whatever stressful situation I am currently going through; it is temporary and will change. To start every week with a ‘to do’ list and always block time in my calendar to just work on the list. Thanks Abraham Lincoln and Mom!

What is a fun fact about you?

I am a busy mom of two girls. Every day I try and set an example of kindness, hard work and, of course, show them how to have a little fun, which I believe has been the key to my success and will hopefully help lead them on their future course. They inspire me every day to work hard to make a difference at work and at home.

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

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