Master Merchandising Awards networking eventMaster Merchandising Awards networking event

On Tuesday October 23, at a gala event as part of its Grocery Innovations Canada conference and trade show, the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers presented its annual industry awards.

The two-day Grocery Innovations Canada event, held at the Toronto Congress Centre, is one of the most important B2B grocery & specialty food shows for the Canadian industry. This year the trade show spanned more than 110,000 square feet of exhibition floor space and drew 5100 attendees and more than 340 exhibitors from categories such as food, cannabis, garden, general merchandise, equipment, technology, foodservice, financial and insurance. The conference featured a keynote address by Natalie Green, Google Canada’s head of industry for food, beverages and restaurants.

An important part of the awards night is the recognition of the Life Member recipients.

This year Scott Lindsay received the CFIG Life Member Award - Industry Builder and Brent Battistelli received the Life Member Award - Retailer.

Scott Lindsay is currently the vice president of sales for Coca-Cola Canada. He joined the company in the early 1990s in Calgary as a sales supervisor. In 1995 he became Coca-Cola’s Western Canada marketing manager and in 1998 he moved to the US to become vice president of sales for the North West division, returning home as vice president of sales for Coca-Cola Canada, in 2003.

Brent Battistelli is the owner of Your Independent Grocer in Lively, Ont. He opened a Valu-Mart with his father in 1989 and following the success of that store, expanded to a new location. He served as chair of CFIG’s Board during the association’s 50th anniversary, and worked tirelessly to make that special year success.

Life Member Industry Scott LIndsay

Scott Lindsay, middle, flanked by CFIG outgoing president Tom Barlow, left, and Michel Manseau, Kruger Products, right.

Life Member Retailer Brent Battistelli Lively ON

Brent Battiselli, middle, with outgoing CFIG president Tom Barlow, left and Michel Manseau, Kruger Products, right.

Below are the winners of the Merchandising Excellence Awards and the Canadian Independent Grocer of the Year Awards.


Master Merchandiser Awards – recognizing creative merchandising in the grocery industry.

Single Manufacturer

SMALL SURFACE: Nesters Market Woodward's, Vancouver, British Columbia

Mike Pare

MEDIUM SURFACE: Quality Foods, Parksville, British Columbia

Marius Mackensen and Darcy Ginter

Master Merchandising Award - Single Manufacturer Large Surface - Save-On-Foods, Orchard PlazaMaster Merchandising Award - Single Manufacturer Large Surface - Save-On-Foods, Orchard Plaza

LARGE SURFACE: Save-On Foods Orchard Plaza, Kelowna, British Columbia

Eric Falkenberg & Malcom Robertson


Master Merchandising award - Multi Manufacturer Small Surface - Sun Valley SupermarketMaster Merchandising award - Multi Manufacturer Small Surface - Sun Valley Supermarket


SMALL SURFACE: Sun Valley Supermarket, Toronto Ontario

Jim and Vicki Bexis

MEDIUM SURFACE: Powell’s Supermarket, Carbonear Newfoundland and Labrador

Dave Powell, Craig Oates

LARGE SURFACE: Dessureault Your Independent Grocer, Ottawa, ON

Carl & Nathalie Dessureault, Rene Larocque

Master Merchandising Awards - Themed Small Surface - St. Norbert MarketplaceMaster Merchandising Awards - Themed Small Surface - St. Norbert Marketplace

Themed Event

SMALL SURFACE: St. Norbert Marketplace, Winnipeg, Manitoba  

Neil Brelinski, Ward Bruner

MEDIUM SURFACE: Powell’s Supermarket, Bay Roberts, Newfoundland and Labrador

Dave Powell, John Mercer

LARGE SURFACE: Save-On Foods, Richmond, British Columbia

Leigh Yochlowitz

Perimeter Display

SMALL SURFACE: AG Foods, Barriere, British Columbia

Ed Lee & Louisa Lee

MEDIUM SURFACE: Fresh Street Market, West Vancouver, British Columbia

Alex Lee and Staff

Master Merchandising award - Perimeter Large Surface - Longo's Southeast OakvilleMaster Merchandising award - Perimeter Large Surface - Longo's Southeast Oakville

LARGE SURFACE: Longo’s, Southeast Oakville, Ontario

Diran Ogungbemile, Danica Parilac

Multi-Store Internal Contest

LARGE SURFACE: Métro O'Frigidaire, Lac-Etchemin, Québec

MEDIUM SURFACE: Colemans Mount Pearl, Mount Pearl, Newfoundland

SMALL SURFACE: Metro Denis Messier, Ste-Dorothée, Québec

Top 10 in Grocery Award Winners

  • Best Convenience: Jack Daniels’ Meats [Jack Daniels (Acosta)]

Speyside Smokehouse Salmon JerkySpeyside Smokehouse Salmon Jerky

  • Best Packaging:Speyside Smokehouse Salmon Jerky [Meat Snacks Group (TFB & Associates)]
  • Best Confectionery: Jacek Artisan Chocolate Bars (JACEK Chocolate Couture)
  • Best Snack: Seaweed Rice Crisps (Humanwell)
  • Best Non-Food: QuickStrip (Rapid Dose Therapeutics)
  • Best Refrigerated: Fairlife Ultrafiltered Milk Products [(Minute Maid Company of Canada (Coca-Cola Limited)]
  • Best Condiment, Spread, or Sauce: Nordica Smooth Cottage Cheese Dips (Gay Lea Foods Co-Operative Ltd.)

Fever Tree Aromatic TonicFever Tree Aromatic TonicFever Tree GingerFever Tree Ginger Ale

  • Best Beverage: Fever Tree Premium Natural Mixers [Fever Tree - (TFB & Associates)]
  • Best Sustainable: Casus Grill (Casus Grill Canada)
  • Best for Pets: Williwaw Treats For Dogs (Northern Pet Products Inc.)

Best Booth Winners

  • Best Single: Cold Brew Coffee Co.
  • Best Double: Arterra Wines Canada
  • Best Multi: Weston Foods
  • Best Marketed: Smucker Foods of Canada Corp

Best Booth, Single Station - Cold Brew Co.Best Booth, Single Station - Cold Brew Co.

Best Booth, Double - Arterra Wines CanadaBest Booth, Double - Arterra Wines Canada

Best Booth, Multi - Weston FoodsBest Booth, Multi - Weston Foods

Best Booth, Marketed - Smucker Foods of Canada Corp.Best Booth, Marketed - Smucker Foods of Canada Corp.


Competing stores are evaluated by a retail management expert for their retailing excellence and innovation, store team performance, customer service, space utilization, freshness and cleanliness.

National Gold Award for Top Independent Grocer of the Year for 2018

LARGE SURFACE: Tim Styba and team, Save-On-Foods – Northgate, Winnipeg, Manitoba

MEDIUM SURFACE: Vince Piligra and staff, Longo’s – York Mills, Toronto, Ontario

SMALL SURFACE: Colby and Annette Woodhead, Doug Nakano and James Inglis, Blind Bay Village Grocer – Blind Bay, British Columbia


David C. Parsons Award of Excellence in Specialty Food Retailing (Gold):

Jeffrey Min and Jaeho Park, Galleria Supermarket – Thornhill, Toronto, Ontario


Special Awards

The Arnold Rands Heritage Awardgiven to the year’s best multi-­generational store that is privately owned, and that has been in the same family for at least two generations, in the same community for 35 years.

David Askew and Family of Askew’s Foods – Salmon Arm, Armstrong and Sicamous of British Columbia.


2018 Hall of Fame (IGYA) Inductees

To be eligible for Hall of Fame induction, a store must win at least three Gold Awards or receive one Platinum Achievement Award and one Gold Award.


  • Jeffrey Min and Jaeho Park of Galleria Supermarket – Thornhill, Ontario
  • Eric Wood and Staff of Longo's – Burloak, Oakville, Ontario

Master Merchandiser

  • Carl and Nathalie Dessureault and Rene Larocque of Dessureault Your Independent Grocer – Ottawa, Ontario
  • Darcy Ginter and The Store Team of Quality Foods – Parksville, British Columbia
  • Jim and Vicki Bexis, Peter and Augusta Vacirtzoglou and staff of Sun Valley Supermarket Inc. – Toronto, Ontario

Platinum Achievement (10 years)

  • Neil and Connie O'Reilly & Gerard O'Malley, Barry's Bay Metro – Barry’s Bay, Ontario
  • Shelley Keim and staff, Freson Bros. – Manning, Alberta
  • Ryan Durnie and staff, Freson Bros. – Valleyview, Alberta
  • Jeffrey Min and Jaeho Park, Galleria Supermarket – Thornhill, Ontario
  • Joe Bruzzese and staff, Longo's – Boxgrove, Markham, Ontario
  • Eric Wood and staff, Longo's – Burloak, Oakville, Ontario
  • Mike Van Giesen and Phil Greenhalgh and staff, Tru Value Foods – Mayne Island, British Columbia


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