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Groupe Épicia president to step down

Will be replaced by Christian Jobin, vice-president, in early June

Groupe Épicia president Marcel Paré (pictured) will step down in two weeks, he told Canadian Grocer. He will be replaced by vice-president Christian Jobin, a son of the founder of Le Jardin Mobile, one of five banners under the Groupe Épicia umbrella.

Groupe Épicia is one of Quebec's largest fruit and vegetable specialty food chains, employing over 1,000 staff.

Paré, 57, was named co-president in 2002, sharing responsibilities with Jobin, but took over as sole president last year.

Paré's last act was to oversee the shuttering of six of 32 stores in the chain and consolidate the firm for its $5-million renovation of several stores.

READ: Groupe Épicia looks to restructure

The grocer is also looking at the feasibility of franchising some stores and an expansion into Montreal and Laval.

Paré said the decision to step down was personal.

"My wife is retired and I've worked too much," he said. "I will still be around to coach Mr. Jobin," though he said he will not keep an office at Groupe Épicia.

Paré said he plans to pursue his interests in skiing, hiking, golf and biking and spending time with his family.

Jobin will be officially named president at a board meeting in early June.

Paré has spent most of his life in the grocery business, starting as a bag boy at Steinberg's. He has also worked at IGA and Metro.

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