Country Grocer co-founder celebrated by industry leaders

Co-founder Peter Cavin honoured at function today in Vancouver

Though Country Grocer co-founder Peter Cavin has been honoured by colleagues in the grocery industry, he insisted on sharing the spotlight.

“It’s very flattering, but I’ve got to give a lot of credit to my partners,” the Saanich resident said.

Cavin, who founded Country Grocer with his brother-in-law Mark Wilson and business partners Wally Large and Henry Zwynenburg, was recognized as “a true Canadian grocery entrepreneur” by the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers in Vancouver on Sunday (April 22).

Federation president John Scott, chair Brent Battistelli and Darryl Rowe, president of McCain Foods Canada and past federation chair, presented Cavin with a new book, entitled Celebrating 50 Grocery Entrepreneurs in Canada.

It tells the stories of 50 independent grocers – including Country Grocer – in business today who are considered to be true entrepreneurs. The book’s release coincides with the non-profit trade organization’s 50th anniversary.

“I wouldn’t be getting it without my partners,” Cavin said of the recognition.

Today, Country Grocer employs 650 people at stores in Esquimalt, Royal Oak, Cobble Hill, Lake Cowichan, Nanaimo and on Saltspring Island.

The company is preparing to open its largest store at a second location in Nanaimo in November.

“It’s been quite an evolution, really, to where we are,” Cavin said. “It’s something we’re all pretty proud of and never expected.

“We just wanted to be great neighbourhood grocery stores that supported the communities around us.”

emccracken@vicnews.com