In Business Since 2022
Gourmet Groceries Canada
Our sole goal is to empower other small businesses. Everything we sell is made in Canada - you can even shop by province! By connecting consumers to where their products are made, GourmetGroceries.ca is able to enrich the local economy and support the success of our brands. We even facilitate markets & events that are either free or affordable, and we never make a profit off of it. GourmetGroceries.ca goes against the status quo; because it's about time that the grocery industry stopped taking advantage of others' hard work.
Business Impact Award
Tell Us Your Story. What motivated you to start your business? Why are you passionate about what you do?
I was looking for a gift for my cousin's 50th birthday. We both value shopping local, and we both appreciate the unique specialty foods that Canada has to offer. I scoured local shops claiming to be a farm store; but not only did they not categorize what products are Canadian, but 60% were from Europe and the US! Frustrated, I wanted to find a way to be more directly connected with where my products are made (and not be misled into thinking I was buying something local) - so GourmetGroceries.ca was born. I am passionate about what I do because my focus is on empowering others to succeed, and bringing transparency to consumers. I specialize in gourmet food, so I love experiencing the different flavor combinations. I know the story of every single product and brand I sell.
Describe and demonstrate, including metrics, your community support. How do you support and uplift your community, and how do they show that support in return? Minimum 25 words, maximum 2500 characters.
As I started sampling, researching, and connecting, I noticed an immense power dynamic between corporate grocers and their small business vendors. There's no regulation on how much a chain store can take advantage. It became apparent to me that something needed to be changed. I facilitate markets & events that are either free or affordable - meaning, I'm not charging hundreds or thousands of dollars, knowing that it's unlikely for someone to break even, just so I can profit off of their hard work. I average at 18-hour days organizing and researching the details to create opportunities for small businesses - even my competitors! One of the companies I closely work with is a direct competitor, and we help one another regardless. I am a problem solver. I see a complication? I find a solution. Currently there are so many complications with small businesses that rely on retailers to succeed. If you asked me for the details, we'd talk for hours. I actively go against industry standards because it's about time someone changed the status quo. My community shows the support back by helping others. The only requirement I ever have for my markets & events is that they post on social media and tag other vendors. This connects everyones' customers to their own, and these are customers that value supporting the communities and shopping local.
Why do you deserve to win the Business Impact award?
I honestly believe that many people deserve to win this award, not just me. I am very humble in my efforts to create a strong and positive impact on my community. To properly answer this question; this is what I would do if I won the award: -Immediately put the prize money into creating more opportunities for others (renting out the Vancouver Convention Center is a dream to do, as I'd like to create expos and trade shows that don't cost vendors their entire year's worth of revenue to attend to). -Use the recognition of the award as a form of further outreach to vendors. I spend hours each day contacting other small BC-based businesses to bring awareness to the new opportunities available for them. Winning the award expands that reach and helps others know that they're not alone in their strife; that GourmetGroceries.ca is doing everything they can to change the standards in ways that benefit them.
Tell Us About Your Culture. How are you creating a sustainable and healthy workplace where everyone feels welcome? Provide examples of leadership you show in interactions with clients, vendors, contractors, staff and others.
I applied the same perspective to marketing. As much as I love graphic design and wordplay, it is not my strong suit, and neither is social media. When it came time to seek help in this, it was vital to me to foster an environment that valued the employee more than it did the profit. Putting mental health first, prioritizing their own needs above the needs of the company, and empowering them to negotiate whilst also paying more than a fair wage - more than a living wage. I encourage people to ask questions and challenge my own ideas. Their employee discount is 50%, because I value them and would rather have them feel appreciated and acknowledged then given a measly 10%. I aspire to be the employer that positively changes the status quo - just like how I do in business. For vendors, I always prioritize the relationship and building rapport, in addition to empowering them to succeed. I actually have testimonials from brands on my website, instead of customers, because brands can be contacted and fact-checked. In order to express my impact in more detail, here's some testimonials from them: "Gourmet Groceries is one of our favorite retailers to work with. From their initial inquiry they have treated us with respect and empathy, nurturing a relationship instead of prioritizing profits. Their values are a godsend for small business brands." -Zimt Chocolates "We absolutely love Anna here at LLA. Anna has been an incredible person to work with, always professional and we recommend her as a business owner and an amazing person. Her ability to connect with people and immediately create long lasting friendships is a gift that she has. Anna treats us so kindly and is so considerate of everything we do, supporting our business as if it were her own and helping us out in any way she can. If you are looking to connect with Anna as a retail partner, friend, or blessed to work alongside her, we couldn’t vouch for her enough and what she has done for LLA. We are grateful for you Anna and will continue to support her in everything she does." -Lily Lou's Aromas "Anna, the woman behind Gourmet Groceries, has been delightful to work with! I have met amazing groups of likeminded small businesses. She is always working silently and relentlessly behind the scenes to put together events for the community. She works with a strong purpose behind everything she does and is always accommodating and thoughtful." -Gelato Beauty