“We’re a family! Some of our long-time employees are people I hired 25 years ago, who have now come here to Parksville,” says store manager Bill Rutledge.
He knows that in a small town like Parksville it’s up to every individual to keep the community thriving, and he’s proud that his store is a leading supporter of many community causes.
“Parksville is a really giving, small community, and we’ve always been heavily involved,” he says.
Thrifty Foods Parksville regularly contributes to the food bank through the store’s food-rescue program, and they donate weekly to the North Island Wildlife Rescue.
Rutledge also notes the store is a lead sponsor of the Winterfest Craft Fair, the Shriner’s Show and Shine, Tour de Rock and the Parksville Canada Day celebrations (one of Vancouver Island’s largest).
“Our Buggy Drill Team does routines and gives away cookies and candy during the parade, then I hustle down to the park to cut 14 slabs of cake. It’s always a lot of fun.”
As part of the grand re-opening to celebrate the store’s extensive renovations, Thrifty Foods Parksville donated $1,000 in Smile Cards to the Haven Society, a local, non-profit organization which promotes the integrity and safety of women, children, youth and families and the development of a respectful and healthy community.
“I’ve been at this location for almost 20 years, and always taken a grassroots approach to charity and community service. Sometimes Smile Cards are the best way to support a cause, but I enjoy taking the opportunity to connect with the community. I love it when sports teams come in wearing their jerseys and volunteer their time to help bag groceries, or when our store team helps with Christmas hampers. It’s that deep connection to the community,” Rutledge says.
What’s new in store
Regular customers have been aware of Thrifty Foods Parksville’s renovations since March, and now the finishing touches are complete! Alongside an updated aesthetic, Rutledge is excited for the new energy efficient refrigeration displays. The new deli counter, freshly prepared pizza and sushi (by the most amazing sushi chef in Parksville, according to Rutledge) are other refreshed highlights that are sure to be a hit with customers.
In the pharmacy, a new treatment room for consultations offers better privacy — great timing with the expanded scope of service for pharmacists across BC. The store is also much brighter overall thanks to a new lighting system, making it easier for customers to read labels and helping highlight the latest charitable initiatives posted in store.