2023 Star Women in Grocery Award Winner Petrina Barnes (Q&A)

Store-Level Star
Shellee Fitzgerald
Editor-in-Chief
Shellee Fitzgerald
Petrina Barnes
Petrina Barnes

Petrina Barnes

Store Manager
Sobeys

How did you get your start in the grocery business?

I started at Sobeys Ropewalk Lane [in St. John’s, N.L.] 31 years ago as a cashier. I had moved into town for school and had always heard that Sobeys was a good place to work. I quickly learned that was in fact very true. I was fortunate to work with great people who inspired me and I decided to change my career path to a career with Sobeys, a decision I have never regretted. I moved into the administration department where I was promoted to assistant store manager and then to my current position as a store manager. 

What would you say is the best part of your job?

Hands down it's the team I work with and our customers. I am a people person. Meeting new people and hearing their stories is something I have a passion for. I love that the people I work with are always up for a bit of fun on the job also! I am an avid Halloween fan and dress up in costume for work every year and have quite a few staff members that also participate, adding to the festivities. We have a very diverse staff and learning about their cultures is very important to me as well. 

What is the best advice you’ve received in your career?

To always be true to myself. Your team will respect you always being real with them and I have made it my mantra to treat everyone as I would like to be treated. 

What is your proudest moment in your job?

For sure, it would have been during the cyberattack in the fall of 2022. My team stepped up to the plate and faced every challenge like the true champs that they are. They certainly made what could have been a disastrous situation much better. I have truly been blessed with a team that face obstacles head on and work together for the benefit of our customers and our store. 

How would you describe your leadership style?

I do not micromanage my team. I am a source of support, but also want everyone to work through any issues/challenges to further develop their management skill-set. I learned by making a mistake or two along the way, yes I will admit that, and I try to make every mistake a coaching opportunity. I also like for everyone to have fun at work and I firmly believe that attitude leads to the overall success of the team and a winning experience for our customers. 

What do you like to do outside of work?

We have some of the most beautiful scenery in our province (Newfoundland). I love to get outdoors as much as possible walking, hiking and golfing. My family and I are devoted Toronto Maple Leafs fans, which can also be a challenge sometimes.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I am truly honoured to have been nominated for this award and certainly share this honour with my whole team.

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

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