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Alex Campbell

Alex Campbell was a prominent British Columbia grocer and a philanthropist. He co-founded B.C.’s Thrifty Foods chain with one store in Victoria in 1977. He was considered an innovator and early adopter in the Canadian supermarket business, in part for his “buy local” ethic and “fair trade” dealings with suppliers. Campbell got into the grocery industry in 1956 as a student. In 1973, he moved to Vancouver Island to set up the 49th Parallel Grocery in Ladysmith, south of Nanaimo. Then in 1977, he and partner Ernie Skinner launched the first Thrifty Foods store in Victoria’s Fairfield district and by 1992, they had expanded to nine stores. Campbell worked to help various charities on the Island after retiring from the grocery business, both in a leadership role and as a face for fundraising efforts. He received numerous awards, including the 2000 Golden Pencil, the Order of British Columbia in 1999, a 2011 Leadership Victoria award and distinguished entrepreneur of the year by the University of Victoria’s faculty of business. He passed away in 2011 at the age of 70.