Then and now: Qualify Foods co-owners Noel Hayward

Quality Foods celebrates thirty years of excellence

Owners of the Quality Food chain of grocery stores — Ken Schley, John Briuolo and Noel Hayward — have come a very long way since 1982

Owners of the Quality Food chain of grocery stores — Ken Schley, John Briuolo and Noel Hayward — have come a very long way since 1982.

Thirty years ago, the trio revitalized a failing grocery business in Qualicum Beach and began innovating in ways the industry had not yet imagined. In fact, for these three decades, the trio and their dedicated employees have led the way among grocery stores throughout Canada.

Their willingness to embrace technology when others would not, and their dedication to staff — making Quality Foods a top employer in B.C. — has helped create a chain of Vancouver Island-based grocery stores second to none.

The young trio re-opened a grocery store in Qualicum Beach on May 27, 1982, renaming it Qualicum Foods. The early ‘80s were tough, economically, but they had the support of suppliers, wholesalers and the community. Customer service was a major focus for them, as they had to build a base of support before they could even think of being able to add — or even afford – frills.

By 1986, Qualicum Foods was doing well and looking for other opportunities to improve. When Bruce Robertson’s FoodMaster store in Parksville became available (they knew each other quite well, as independent stores) for a partnership that year, they jumped at it. After merging, they had to come up with a new name. Luckily, the partners had had the forethought to register the name QF, and from there it was a simple matter of coming up with Quality Foods – the name that has become synonymous with the stores outside of Qualicum Beach.

Into the early and mid-1990s, a vacant Nanaimo IGS grocery store became available to the partners. Adding this new store led relatively quickly to the acquiring of two more stores in Nanaimo, along with locations in Nanoose Bay, Courtenay, Comox, Campbell River, Port Alberni and Powell River. In all, QF has 11 stores, a headquarters and warehouse operation in Errington, and a company that employs around 800 people.

Throughout their 30-year history, the partners remain involved in the community.

They pump sponsorship dollars into local sports teams, community groups and events.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Campbell River nurse looks to grace the cover of Inked magazine

‘I’m at the point in my life where I don’t care what anybody thinks anymore. I’m just going to be me.’

Witnesses assist Campbell River woman in danger

The Campbell River RCMP were called to a report of violence in… Continue reading

Reports of accused human trafficker sighted in Campbell River unsubstantiated

RCMP issue warning about the fears unproven social media reports can generate

City of Campbell River rolls out three year strategic plan

Plan is made up of six ‘pillars’ for how council will make decisions

City of Campbell River highlights benefits of fitness programs for ‘older adults’

New video features participants telling their own stories of how classes improved their lives

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Tyler Toffoli scores twice, Canucks crush Bruins 9-3

Stecher, Miller each add three points for Vancouver

Zamboni driver, 42, earns NHL win over Maple Leafs

Emergency goalie called into action for Carolina Hurricanes

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

Landlord ordered to pay $11K after harassing B.C. mom to move days after giving birth

Germaine Valdez was pressured to move just a few days after giving birth by C-section to her child

Heart attacks strike B.C. husband and wife just over one year apart

Courtenay couple share personal stories to bring awareness to heart month

‘Nothing surprises us anymore:’ U.S. border officials find brain in package

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found the brain packed in a glass mason jar in a Canada Post shipment

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Eyes on police after Trudeau orders blockades torn down, injunctions enforced

The RCMP in B.C. have sent a letter to the traditional leaders of the Wet’suwet’en Nation

Most Read