Pattison takes up B.C. grocery chain Quality Foods

The owner of Save-On Foods and other Canadian grocery chains will expand its overall market share on Vancouver Island with majority control of the Quality Foods chain.

The Vancouver-based Jim Pattison Group was announced last week as the new controlling shareholder in Quality Foods, buying up the interests of founding partners Ken Schley and John Briuolo for an undisclosed sum.

Schley, Briuolo and Noel Hayward opened their first store, then known as Qualicum Foods, at Qualicum Beach in 1982. Partner Bruce Robertson came on board in 1986 and Pattison took a minority stake in 2012.

The Quality Foods chain, headquartered at Errington, about 40 km northwest of Nanaimo, has since expanded to 13 stores across the island.

In a company statement last week, Pattison said the chain’s business “will continue as it has.”

Hayward will remain in charge of day-to-day operations as the chain’s president, Schley said in the same statement, “to ensure continuity for our loyal customers and dedicated QFers.”

Briuolo said competition in the grocery industry being very aggressive, on Vancouver Island in particular, hence the need to “keep growing the unique Quality Foods brand, and that requires many resources.”

Schley and Briuolo will continue to act as the “principal landlords” for several of the Quality Foods properties, the company said.

Along with Save-On Foods, part of its Overwaitea Food Group, Pattison owns grocery chains and wholesalers in Western Canada including Overwaitea Foods, Buy-Low Foods, Nesters Food Market, Urban Fare, PriceSmart Foods, Meinhardt Fine Foods, Bulkley Valley Wholesale and distributors Associated Grocers and Van-Whole Produce.

Pattison’s food assets also include fruit juice and fruit snack maker SunRype Products, seafood firms Canfisco and Ocean Brands and wine retailer Everything Wine. In the ag sector, the parent firm also operates 17 Pattison Agriculture equipment dealerships in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. — Network

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