Who are we and how did we get started?
1982 Ken Schley, John Briuolo and Noel Hayward, all in their mid-twenties, discovered the present Qualicum Beach location and soon after, Qualicum Foods opened. Then in 1986, the addition of partner Bruce Robertson resulted in the first Quality Foods store in Parksville.
Today, these four gentlemen continue to be active leaders in Quality Foods and the grocery industry. With several stores and several hundred staff members – or “QF’ers” as we like to call them, we are now one of the largest employers in the Central Vancouver Island area.
“Two of the best things we did in the early days that made a huge impact on our future as a company” recalls Ken Schley, Director of Operations, “were:
a.) Making our customers shopping experience as unique and positive as possible, and
b.) Getting involved with the community.”
As a leader in community activities, people turn to QF to help in a variety of ways, says Ken. “In many cases we actually roll up our sleeves and help out at an event! In fact the QF Children’s Sandcastle Competition each summer is a good example; the entire event is run by QF volunteers.”
QF has earned many regional, provincial and national Awards of Merit as an active member of the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers. This is a testament to the team and entrepreneurial spirit which has been so important to our success to date. Innovation has also been a large factor in establishing Quality Foods as a strong independent. Having introduced the first preferred shopper program in the Canadian grocery industry in 1991, to offering Western Canada’s first full online shopping service in 1997, QF continues a tradition of putting our customers first.