Sunday, March 26, 2017
The founders of Quality Foods have sold their 13-store Vancouver Island grocery chain to the Jim Pattison Group.
The Jim Pattison Group, which has been a minority partner in Quality Foods since 2012, is taking over as the majority partner, the Times Colonist reports. Pattison also owns Overwaitea Foods and Save-On-Foods among other companies.
John Briuolo, Ken Schley and Noel Hayward founded the grocery chain in 1982 in downtown Qualicum Beach. The Times Colonist reports that, with the sale to Pattison, Schley and Briuolo plan to step away from the company, but will remain principle landlords of several Quality Foods locations to help in the transition. Hayward will continue leading day-to-day operations for the company.
Schley said current upgrades and future Quality Foods expansion requires more capital backing, which isn't possible without new ownership. “There's no better person than somebody who's got the wherewithal to do it,” Schley said. He noted, that to do the best job possible, “We were quite frankly going to be tapped out.”
On Friday, Pattison said there won't be any immediate changes, and that the Quality Foods brand will remain. “I would see no reason, with the good reputation, why anybody would want to change it,” Pattison told the Nanaimo News.
“Quality Foods is a very special company on Vancouver Island, they've developed some wonderful people, they've got a very loyal customer base,” Pattison said.
Schley said the fact that Pattison is Vancouver based, has strong financial backing, knowledge of the grocery business and supports leaving Quality Foods management in place, were critical to the sale happening.
He said financial returns in the ultra-competitive grocery market are narrowing: “To have a partnership like that and [access] to the money that's required to grow our company, I just thought that was the very best thing we could have possibly done," Schley said.
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