2017 East Gwillimbury
Carmen Trimarchi, Giancarlo’s father, immigrated to Toronto from Sicily in 1964 when he was just twelve years old. Initially, he worked in open air fruit stands with his parents, Salvatore and Maria, a job his uncle had waiting for them when they came to Canada. Eventually his uncle invited Carmen to join in his business, and in 1986, Carmen branched out on his own and bought Vince’s Market in Sharon, ON.
Giancarlo grew up in his father’s business from the age of five when the store had a dirt floor. His dad always said, “Strong communities make for strong businesses,” and Giancarlo carried on with this planted in his soul. Community support is now a planned activity each year; as business continues to evolve, they do whatever they can so that giving is not just reactionary.
Brian Johns, previously a part-time employee of Vince’s, followed his entrepreneurial pursuits through his studies and the successful running of two Subway franchises; eventually returning to Vince’s to become a business partner with Carmen around 2004.
To support their ideals, they now have a Community Support Ambassador on their team as well, Maria Ciarlandini. Maria is a previous Portraits of Giving honouree whose role it is to communicate with people and lead by example, encouraging them to get involved.
Vince’s commitment is to support their community, and make great things possible as they give back to it.
While most of their involvement is at the grassroots level, Giancarlo refers to one of their capital contribution campaigns for Southlake Hospital’s maternity ward, where one of their employees eventually had their baby, and named their child Vincenzo (Vince).
A screening room for Southlake’s Cancer Centre was funded as well.
Giancarlo believes philanthropy creates an interpersonal experience in how it makes you feel and how it makes others feel to interact with community. A collective sense of humility and purpose is gained.
On a more personal note, Giancarlo also fondly shares that whenever kids come in to the store sporting their EG hockey sweaters (one of the teams they sponsor), it warms his dad’s heart.
For the future, Cedar Centre (formerly York Region Abuse Program) in Newmarket is branching out to help individuals suffering from all traumas, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), and other mental health issues. So, in addition to Vince’s ongoing support for the past ten years, they want to champion this redesign and renovation by donating people and dollars to refresh Cedar Centre’s environment. It’s a huge opportunity to give back and help those in need, and a big fundraising event is planned for spring 2017.