After 40 years of service, legendary independent grocer Cori Bonina has announced that she is stepping down as CEO of Vancouver’s popular Stong’s Market.
Known for her vision and creativity, Bonina, whose great grandfather founded the company 85 years ago, launched two new locations, Northwoods and Dunbar Street, in 2016 after the original Dunbar Street store’s lease expired. Bonina’s extraordinary merchandising skills were on display in every aspect of the new stores, with the award-winning Northwoods location quickly becoming a foodie destination. Curious customers were drawn deeper into the Stong’s Market experience not only by the quality of the food but by departments with charmingly descriptive names such as Knead, Land & Sea and Stems.
An entrepreneur with an instinct for winning innovation, Bonina provided fledging speciality food companies such as Lesley Stowe Raincoast Crisps (purchased by Dare Foods in 2014) a platform to test, market and merchandise their products. She also gave back to the industry in many ways including as a multi-term Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers board member.
In an announcement, the company noted that “Cori’s legacy will continue through the business she has built and she continues to be a partner [in the business].”
Succeeding Bonina as CEO is current general manager Brian Bradley, who joined the company in 2017 and whose retail career includes 30 years at Safeway Canada.