MMM | Business Shortbread – 3 “Ingredients” for Success

Good Monday Morning!


Let’s face it, delicious food shouldn’t be reserved for special occasions. My weakness is sweets. For me nothing beats a great homemade shortbread cookie.


The secret to shortbread is two things: the right recipe and the best ingredients you can afford.


Last year, I heard Jeff York, the President of Farm Boy, speak. If you haven’t seen a Farm Boy yet, you will. They are the Canadian’s equivalent to Whole Foods and opened a bunch of new stores in Toronto. They are my personal go to place for grocery shopping.


Building a business like Farm Boy and baking short bread have much in common. Both need the right recipe and ingredients.


Farm Boy was a small regional chain serving eastern Ontario owned by three brothers. Shopping there is completely different than the traditional big box grocery chains.


Their mission is:
Farm Boy’s recipe is very simple:
  • Hire nice people who are passionate about food.
  • Provide a warm atmosphere through smaller store design.
  • Focus on local premium suppliers and don’t sell socks and Christmas lights.
Jeff shared that every employee that is hired has three interviews and must tick these three boxes:
  • They are nice.
  • We would like working with them.
  • They work hard.
Their recipe is working extremely well, last year they were acquired by Sobey’s for $800 million. They will be on an aggressive growth track, especially in the Toronto area.


Farm Boy is a wonderful Canadian example of how to lead and grow a business in a mature market against an extremely competitive landscape.


Now it’s your turn. What’s your recipe and what ingredients can you combine to “Make life. Better.”?


Along the road with you!




P.S. Our mission has always been to take a more human approach to helping our clients through transitions. We’re honoured that HR professionals have chosen us again as the top provider of outplacement solutions and leadership development in the HR Reporter Readers’ Choice Awards.


P.P.S. We’re here to walk with you through your organization’s challenges and successes during this period of transition. Reach out to Jason Parks, VP of Business Development at or 1-877-256-2569 ext 600 to chat about how you can support your team.