You don’t get to celebrate 40 years in business without doing everything the right way.
For 49th Parallel Grocery, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary, the formula for success is a blend of a few key ingredients, explained president Peter Richmond.
Giving back to the community has always been a priority his parents, Wayne and Harminia, have stressed since they opened the first store in Ladysmith on Aug. 15, 1977, he explained.
Whether through donations to the Tour de Rock, bursaries for high school students, supporting kids sports teams, non-profits and community programs, that philosophy has continued as the business has grown, Richmond noted.
There are now four 49th Parallel locations, including stores in Chemainus, Cedar and Duncan that employ close to 250 people, many related through family.
“My parents put an emphasis from day one on treating our customers and our staff the way they would want to be treated,” Richmond explained. “We have 15 people working here who have been with us for more than 30 years.”
In keeping with the tradition of giving back, 49th Parallel Grocery put on a giveaway with more than $15,000 in prizes distributed to customers who entered a draw.
“It’s an exciting way to give back,” said Richmond, standing in front of bags filled with thousands of entries dating back to mid-July. “I’m looking forward to the next 40 years.”
Prizes include a gift package to Tigh-Na-Mara, 48-inch Sony HD TV, Marin mountain bike, Outbound trampoline, Waltz outdoor dining set, a kids car and home package, Pelican Unison kayak, Coleman camping package, X-Box One package and a Dyna Glo barbecue and patio heater.