Sydney-Anne Porter (centre), flanked by sons Eric and Greg Lapointe, at the national Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers awards, held in Toronto Wednesday, October 23rd.Photo by Lily Tsang,The Justin Poy Agency

Valley Foods gains grocer gold

Top Canadian recognition for Invermere grocery store

Valley Foods earned the top recognition for an independent grocer at the 2019 Grocery Innovations Canada conference.

The gold award was a crowning achievement for the Invermere grocery store, noted co-owner Sydney-Anne Porter.

“Teamwork makes the dream work,” Ms. Porter remarked. “Our unique management style and determination to stay ahead of retail trends were instrumental in earning Valley Foods this prestigious award in Toronto.”

Ms. Porter has been in the grocery world for 35 years. She started out as a temporary part-time employee at an independent grocery store in Prince George. She fell in love with the industry and worked her way up. When she looked at opening Valley Foods in Invermere, she ended up partnering with the people who had first hired her back in 1984. Ms. Porter eventually bought out her original partners and brought her sons on board to help lead Valley Foods forward. Greg and Eric Lapointe are now happily running the business, with some support from Ms. Porter still.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers (CFIG) awards program recognizes the success of outstanding independent retailers each year. The CFIG, which stretches across the country, evaluates independently-owned stores on retail excellence and is rated on customer service, staff, department management, store layout, merchandising, creativity, cleanliness, and community involvement. Valley Foods falls under the ‘small’ category (stores under 15,000 square feet of retail space) at CFIG.

This is the latest and greatest in a stack of awards for Valley Foods. At the 2017 CFIG awards, the store took home silver in the same category, and have also won several regional awards from CFIG. Upon winning silver in 2017, Ms. Porter had told the Pioneer they would be analyzing their written evaluation, with eyes on the top prize. Hard work and dedication led the AG Valley team to achieve that goal this year with their gold medal victory.

Compliments poured in on social media following the award announcement, with more than 100 comments, and counting, congratulating Valley Foods.

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