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I’m a Canadian Grocer

Before I dive into future blogs, my intention today is to give you some context as to where the typing of this article is coming from and who it is that will be spewing words into Canadian Grocer cyber space.

I am writing to you from the 4’x8’ cash office of Vince’s Market in Newmarket, Ont. It’s a fantastic Sunday morning in early May. I just stepped away from filling our dressing and dip section – don’t want to miss a great sales opportunity given by this weather. This cash office is all the office space I am afforded because as our store expanded and grew, we needed the office space for more retail selling space. My wife called about an hour ago to say good morning and reminded me that I had a deadline on this blog of last Friday. The post-it note on the computer monitor was taken down Thursday and I am still searching for the culprit.

I could give you the whole story of who we are and where we come from – but you could take a trip to our website for all the particulars. The important characters at Vince’s Market are my father, Carmen, and his partner, Brian Johns.  Carmen has been in this business since his family immigrated to Canada from Sicily in 1964. He was 12 then and went to work after school and on weekends  with his mother, Maria, and father, Salvatore, at a small fruit stand in Scarborough, Ont. called Pirri’s.

Our partner, Brian, became a part of the Vince’s family as a teenager. We played softball together and by the end of the summer, he asked my dad after one of the games if he could have a part-time job in the fall. He was hired and the rest is some great history.

Brian Johns is a Canadian Grocer.

My dad’s whole life has been this business.  His blood, sweat and tears are stained in the backroom of his original location in Sharon, ON. Some of his life’s greatest moments were had while at the store and also some of the hardest were also experienced.

My dad Carmen is a Canadian Grocer.

My name is Giancarlo Trimarchi. I was born into this business. By choice, I am a part of this business. By nature of independent grocers and the demands of the business, our family was constantly in and around the stores.

If I wanted to see dad after school, I went to the store.

If I had a great grade on a test or had a great story, I went to the store.

When I needed some advice or someone to vent to, I went to the store.

When I needed $20 bucks for the movies, I went to the store.

When I wanted to tell my dad I got into University, I went to the store.

When I told my dad I wanted to propose to my girlfriend, I went to the store.

When I decided I wanted to join the family business, I went to the store.

My first summer job was bagging mushrooms, peeling onions, sweeping the produce aisles and bagging at cash. I was 8 when I first started going to work at the store. I am often grouped into a category of the “New Generation” in the grocery business. I am 28 now and it doesn’t feel “New” to me.

My Name is Giancarlo Trimarchi and I am a Canadian Grocer.

Our story is not uncommon. There are many great independent grocers around the country and in our province that have a history similar to ours. Some are still here and thriving. Some are no longer with us. We have been fortunate in our success and are blessed to have communities that support what an independent grocer can offer.  At Vince’s – our mandate is to stay current with the industry and what customers are demanding of us but never losing sight of our roots and what got us here. Come into any one of our locations and you will find Carmen, Brian or I on the floor with our team.

We are proud to be Canadian Grocers.

In my future blogs, I hope to touch on some of the ways technology is shaping how we communicate with our customers, partners and each other.  I will share some of our successes and near misses.

I am passionate about this business and appreciate the forum to communicate with my peers.  To be continued…

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