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2024 Star Women in Grocery Award Winner Miranda Evans (Q&A)

Store-Level Star
Kristin Laird
2024 star women
Miranda Evans

Miranda Evans

Store Owner, Rymal & Upper Gage FreshCo #3815

How did you get your start in the grocery/CPG business?

My first job when I was in high school was at my local Commisso’s as a cashier. I never dreamed of it becoming my career—in fact, I graduated from Brock University in sociology with a concentration in criminology. Life had other plans for me though—I've had so many opportunities and built so many incredible relationships that the grocery industry feels like home. Throughout my different roles, I’ve been able to live my passion for leading teams and building strong connections with others. I can’t imagine a career doing anything else.

What intrigues you about the grocery/CPG business?

Every day is different! There is always a new challenge or obstacle to overcome and it’s been so rewarding. There are always new opportunities to learn and grow and make a positive impact both in the store and in the community. As a franchisee and a parent, I’ve been able to partner with and support various charities local to Hamilton that are near and dear to my heart, including the Ronald McDonald House Charity SCO, the Wisheart Fund, McMaster Children’s Hospital and Crohn’s and Colitis Canada to make positive contributions and to raise awareness on the work that still needs to be done to support these causes.

What keeps you motivated at work?

My team! They show up for me day in and day out. Their dedication and level of commitment drive me to be a better leader. 

The customers that support us! How successful we are as a team is completely dependent on the customers we serve and their experience shopping with us. Constantly being aware and striving to improve customer satisfaction has always kept me motivated and engaged.  

The community we serve! The Hamilton market never ceases to amaze me. Every time we are doing a fundraiser or trying to raise awareness about a cause, the strength and generosity of our community blows me away. I’m so fortunate to work in such a positive and supportive neighbourhood.

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What do you like most about your job?

The relationships I’ve built over the years. In this business, I’ve met my husband, my closest friends and so many wonderful people. It brings me so much joy and fulfillment meeting new people both in the store, backstage and in the community. Building strong connections with others brings me so much energy and enthusiasm for the work I do!

What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career?

Leading a team, as a new franchisee, through a global pandemic. From supply chain challenges, labour shortages, teammates getting sick and trying to protect our customers to the best of our ability, it was incredibly challenging. Information and direction was constantly flowing and needed to be communicated quickly to my team of 75-plus employees as well as our customers. It was so important to me not to let our Hamilton community down at such a critical time, while also balancing keeping my family and team safe.

How did you overcome it?

I took things one day at a time and leveraged the support available to me. I was (and am) so fortunate to work at FreshCo with such an incredible team of leaders who helped us navigate such uncertain times. It truly felt like we were all in it together. 

What is the best career advice you have ever received?

My dad has always said to me, “surround yourself with good people.” The best leaders always have a strong team around them. This advice has stuck with me throughout my career. People and relationships are so important to me and as I’ve grown professionally, I’ve learned how important the team that surrounds you is. 

What is a fun fact about you?

I love to spend time outside of work with my family! My husband and our almost three-year-old son are my world and we are adding a baby girl to our family in just a few short weeks! I am so fortunate to work for a company that is so supportive of females running successful businesses while also prioritizing raising a young family.  

We love to travel and see the world. Some of our favourite places include Germany, Italy and Guatemala. Most recently, we travelled to Mexico with FreshCo on a retailers trip where I was presented the Dedicated Leader Award by senior management that recognizes passion and integrity when building a strong, engaged team and creating an inclusive culture of respect, pride and performance.

Click here for the full list of 2024 Star Women in Grocery award winners.

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