Quality Foods receives rare Platinum Member designation

Business: Local company recognized as one of Canada’s Best Managed

Quality Foods (QF) was victorious in 2007 as they were selected from many applicants nationwide to win a prestigious place among Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies.

Fast forward six years to 2013, with the necessary requalification and Gold Standard award on the wall, QF founding partners Ken Schley and John Briuolo are now stepping up to the podium one more time to accept the coveted Platinum Member designation.

“The Platinum Member designation is important to our company for a number of reasons,” says Ken Schley, QF’s Director of Operations and founding partner. “For example, consider the sheer rarity of companies that share membership in this exclusive club, especially in our little part of the world on Vancouver Island.

“That’s a powerful statement for our front line people to share with our customers and business community.”

Schley believes that engaging with customers at the individual level was at the core of their success with a single store, and innovative use of technology to continue that simple strategy has been an important factor in the following 32 years and 11 stores.

“We will continue to creating new ways to improve the shopping experience for our customers,” Schley says. “Our people have internalized how to engage their shoppers and they work hard to keep them coming back, time after time.

“To do that we ensure we have a strong, diverse team of like-minded people to maintain our competitive advantage and independence.”

This independence allows the group to provide customers with an interactive experience that adds fun to grocery shopping.

“We try to do things in a way that is difficult to duplicate and improves the shopping experience, such as unique store design and using technology differently,” says founding partner John Briuolo of Qualicum Foods. “Customers can choose their own ‘daily special,’ in addition to the traditional specials listed in the current flyer. It’s like a little treasure hunt for customers. Over time they have figured out the best items to choose that are not in the flyer. In fact, they share their best secret items with their friends and it creates a word of mouth buzz that advertising can’t buy.

“Another first in the food industry is how customers activate special offers on their mobile device or home computer which are then available instantly and seamlessly at any checkout, specifically for that person.”

Quality Foods is an independent grocer operating eleven award-winning stores on Vancouver Island (and Powell River). A twelfth store in the Victoria area’s West Shore community is planned for this summer.