Sobey family to be honoured by Retail Council of Canada

Canadian grocery family honoured for outstanding service to the industry and the communities they serve
Donald and David Sobey, Honoured with Retail Council of Canada’s Canadian Grand Prix Lifetime Achievement Award (CNW Group/Retail Council of Canada)

The Sobey family is this year’s recipient of the Canadian Grand Prix Lifetime Achievement Award. David Sobey, chair emeritus of Sobeys Inc., and Donald Sobey, chair emeritus of Empire Company Limited will accept the award on the family's behalf.

The award, presented by The Retail Council of Canada (RCC) as part of its STORE 2019 conference, recognizes senior executives who have demonstrated outstanding service and commitment to Canada’s grocery industry.

"The family has played significant roles in the growth of the company, showing exceptional and relentless passion to serve their customers, their employees and the community at large," said Diane J. Brisebois, president and CEO, Retail Council of Canada, in a press release announcing this year’s honourees.

The Sobeys grocery business dates back to 1907 when John William (J.W.) Sobey started a meat delivery business with a horse-drawn cart in Stellarton, N.S. In fiscal 2018, the company reported more than $24 billion in sales through its network of banners including FreshCo, Foodland and Safeway.

According to RCC, the company owes its success to its "core values, local focus, deep connection to community and commitment to the customer."

"Since the company's inception over 112 years ago, the Sobey Family has fostered a culture of philanthropy and community engagement throughout Empire Company Limited and its employees," said the press release. "They have been tireless promoters of post-secondary education, advancements in health care, and the visual arts in Canada."

The Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to the Sobey family at the Canadian Grand Prix New Product Awards gala on May 29.