Let’s face it, it really is the most wonderful time of the year if you like to eat. 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.
This week 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 will be opening 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:
- The best foods
- The best shopping experience
- Making life better
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, they have just been 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.”?
Leading along the road with you,
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