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January 2019 POG Guest Blog: Vince's Market

Vince’s Corporate Giving Blog

Winston Churchill once said: “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”

I don’t usually open a blog post with such a lofty quote, but when you consider that government and taxes can’t possibly fill every gap for those who are struggling, it’s clear that individuals and businesses need to step up.

At Vince’s, we’re no strangers to corporate philanthropy, having supported many worthwhile causes since founder Carmen Trimarchi purchased our Sharon store in 1986. Since then, along with partners Brian Johns and Giancarlo Trimarchi, we’ve have grown our independent grocery chain, allowing us to commit a significant annual budget to community sponsorships.

Over the years, we’ve helped organizations from hospitals to sports teams, and have committed not only dollars, but food (after all, we’re a grocery store!) and hands-on volunteers to such causes as Inn From the Cold, and Community Living Central York.

In addition to all the above, we recently added another layer to our program of corporate giving. Year One of the annual ‘Community Product Initiative’ recently wrapped up with an overall tally of $25,164 – and a cheque presentation to four life-changing organizations: Doane House Hospice in Newmarket, Blue Door Shelters (Sharon), Tottenham Food Bank, and Uxbridge-Scugog Animal Shelter.

The program launched in January 2018 and has been growing weekly, with funds accruing at each of the four main stores, where staff and customers had helped pick a local charity. With each flyer, a new ‘community product’ was identified, from which 15 percent of total sales of that item were set aside.

“To say we are pleased with the response would be an understatement,” said Giancarlo Trimarchi, partner, CFO and Controller at Vince’s Market. “This was driven by team members and customers, and the amount raised exceeded our expectations.”

We believe these grassroots efforts are what define Vince’s as a community builder, and our customers know – and appreciate – what we do. I also get a sense they like “rooting for the little guy.”

One of the side benefits of being small, is that individuals and organizations can speak directly to the owners. They don’t have to navigate a management hierarchy that ends at head office where marketing and legal teams run through a complex (and sometimes lengthy) approvals process.

“We are small, independent, and truly connected to our communities,” said Trimarchi. “This is what defines us. It's vital to establish your own identity in the market and not let others do it for you. You build customer loyalty and pride when your company partners with them in positive endeavours, like our Community Product Initiative.”

Stay tuned for the announcement of our 2019 recipients. Until then…

-- Neil Moore


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