TOUR OF INDUSTRY SERIES: It’s about location for Thrifty Foods

Grocery chain’s distribution centre in North Saanich keeps delivery costs competitive

Bob Cool

When you roll open the big doors of industry on the Saanich Peninsula, what you find there can be surprising.

That’s the goal of the annual Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce Tour of Industry, which held its fourth such tour at the end of October. There were five main businesses on the tour, with additional stops at VIH Aviation Group and the Mary Winspear Centre.

The tours are held as a way of introducing these industry players to community leaders. The visits, while brief, provide insight into the value each business brings to the Peninsula and the issues they face in achieving success.

And at times, when the interiors of these businesses are revealed to people normally on the outside, there is plenty to see and to learn.

The first stop was Thrifty Foods’ distribution centre in North Saanich. Manager of retail support centres (Victoria) Bob Cool led a group on the tour through the floor-to-ceiling rows of produce and foodstuffs that are collected here and eventually distributed to the company’s network of grocery stores on the Island.

“I’m a cost centre,” Cool said of the operation. “I’m supposed to be efficient as I can.”

That, he continued, means following a streamlined operation of shipping and receiving that uses the latest technology to keep track of where each item is, how long it has been in transit and its shelf-life. The centre, to ensure safety for the consumer, follows strict industry-wide regulations and is audited in-house and by a third party to ensure the checks and balances are being followed.

Cool said Thrifty Foods (now Sobeys) chose to set up the centre on the Peninsula because of its location. It costs distributors the same to ship products to North Saanich as it would to ship it to the lower mainland. The cost savings comes in eliminating the extra step across the Salish Sea.

That distribution brings an estimated 75,000 to 80,000 produce cases to the centre each week, which are in turn delivered five to seven times per week to Island grocery stores.

It’s a streamlined operation, run by 120 dedicated employees.

Looking behind the CUBE

In the next Penunsula News Review, the Tour of Industry series continues with CUBE Global Storage.

This Victoria-based company offers high-security services to customers from around the globe.

While pictures were forbidden in its Victoria offices, their story is one that might surprise you.

 

 

Just Posted

Youth activism pushes Central Saanich to declare ‘climate emergency’

Following moving presentation and youth strikes, council unanimously agrees

Man accused of Brentwood Bay murder appears in court

Alan Chapman tells judge he wants next court appearance to be “as far away as possible”

Langford has ‘no plans’ to make changes to Western Speedway after noise complaints

Flyer passed out to residents voices concerns over racetrack noise

Emergency crews at scene of accident at Sooke’s Camp Bernard

First responders are on the scene of an accident at Camp Bernard,… Continue reading

Sidney Mounties and Saanich PD nab break and enter suspect

Police forces work together to arrest and charge Saanich resident

VIDEO: Acknowledging skeptics, finance minister vows to build Trans Mountain project

Bill Morneau said he recognizes ‘huge amount of anxiety’ in Calgary over future of oil and gas sector

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you support the government’s decision to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion?

The federal government announced Tuesday its approval for the Trans Mountain pipeline… Continue reading

B.C. man faces deportation over father’s honour-killing conviction

Father lied to immigration, was later acquitted of charges in Jassi Sidhu’s murder

RCMP allows officers to grow beards

Members can now wear beards and goatees, as long as they’re neatly groomed

Girl, 10, poisoned by carbon monoxide at B.C. campsite could soon return home

Lucille Beaurain died and daughter Micaela Walton, 10, was rushed to B.C. Children’s Hospital on May 18

30 years later: B.C. woman uses sidewalk chalk to reclaim site of her sexual assault

Vancouver woman didn’t think her powerful story, written in chalk, would ignite such support

Slain friend motivates rookie football player to make it with hometown B.C. Lions

Jaylen Sandhu, stabbed to death in 2014, a source of inspiration for promising RB Jamel Lyles

Sooke council urged to move faster on off-leash dog park plan

Resident questions why five of seven restricted parks are in Sooke

Most Read