- His lessons learned working in 23 communities on his way up the ladder
- What legendary businessman Jimmy Pattison has taught him
- How he has grown a mature business 50% in the past decade
- How to take risks without risking too much
- And much more!
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Welcome to Elaine's Kitchen Table. This is where we share tips about business and parenting. Being a mom of three CEO of the award winning company Easy Daysies speaker and educator, you're going to learn the tips and secrets of successful and incredible people. Elaine wants you to be inspired, challenged and motivated and that person you want your kids to grow up to be. This is real talk for real life.
Elaine Tan Comeau 0:24
Hi, welcome to Elaine's Kitchen Table where we talk about how to create better how to create better family health, business and self. Now did you know that in Canada retail sales in the supermarket industry and the grocery store market amounts to nearly 100 billion Canadian dollars. That is insane. And what is also insane is the guests that we have on our podcast today and I am thrilled. He is the president of one of our favorite grocery stores that we cannot stop talking about because the customer service is impeccable and fantastic. And our favorite cakes come from this grocery store as well. Now, Joe Jones is our guest today and Joe Jones he embarked on his 46 year career in the food business in Cranbrook British Columbia and retail as a retail grocery clerk at a local overwaitea store and from there he advanced through working in 23 stores and communities with Save On Foods. In 2012. Darrell was promoted to the president of Save On Foods were his frankness, his charisma, his business savvy guides the strategic development of Save On Foods. And in 2021 Darrell was named the president of the newly formed the Paterson food group, a Jim Patterson business comprising Food, Drug, wholesale and specialty retail operations with over more than 30,000 employees in nearly 300 stores. I am absolutely humbled to have Darrell as our guest, he is so humble. He's like gushing right now at me because I think he's just incredible. He has won multiple awards. He has a wealth of experience with over four decades, as he enthusiastic enthusiastically leads an increasingly diverse team. As I said, over 30,000 people for innovation, customer service and industry leadership is no wonder that he has received the Golden pencil Award, which is the highest distinction in the grocery industry. I just want to say Daryl, welcome.
Darrell Jones 2:35
Well, thank you so much. And then that was a very, very kind introduction, I can just want to tell you, I'm thrilled to be here love to get the opportunity to talk to entrepreneurs. I love I love the idea of your podcast, and and I was just we happen to meet each other on the ferry of all places, which is interesting. And you said you had a podcast and and they said, Wow. And he told me a little bit about what you do. And I'm you got a lot to be proud of. You've put together a great podcast, I understand you got a large group of folks that that follow you. And I'm just pleased and honored that you invited me to be on?
Elaine Tan Comeau 3:14
Well, we are thrilled. I'm gonna think that this person sitting beside me right now, who is my husband, I was a little shy to approach you on the ferry. And it was my husband, Ron here who said, Go ask him. He's really friendly. And my husband and watches every single color scheme says that's Darrell Jones right there. We think
Darrell Jones 3:35
you're right and do bad about the Canucks, we didn't quite make it to the playoffs, but there's always next year. It's always nice.
Ron Comeau 3:44
So yeah, I'm, I'm happy to be here too. And after hearing that intro, I'm thinking how do you have time to give an interview like this and I think that's part of the reason we're doing this interview is because you are able to carve out the time and that's that's one of the things want to learn about how you've gotten to this point.
Elaine Tan Comeau 4:00
Well, I didn't really get to share how Jarrell gives back he gives back so vastly the community, the community he sits on. He actively participates in several boards, including, oh, I don't know there's such a huge list of these boards that he sits on including the BC Children's Hospital Foundation, the GS one Canada Retail Council of Canada. And so you being on this podcast and carving this time it speaks very highly of the the human that you are and and that you are, you're giving it time right now to give back to small entrepreneurs like myself and my listeners. So thank you, Darrell.
Darrell Jones 4:37
Well, I'll tell you it's it's it's small businesses and small entrepreneurs that that make this country go. And I'm always extremely honored and pleased to get a chance to talk to the young entrepreneurs because they're, they're really the future of of our business of business in Canada. And we should never underestimate the A contestant on fortitude and the and the smarts of VM entrepreneurs like yourself and like your, your listeners.
Elaine Tan Comeau 5:07
Oh, thank you, Darrell, you have an very inspiring story. You started off by bagging groceries. How old were you when you were bagging groceries when you first started.
Darrell Jones 5:17
I was 16 in grade 11 in high school and got a job bagging groceries. And the funny thing, you know, I didn't intend was going to be a schoolteacher like, like you were, that was kind of my, that was. That was kind of my, excuse me, my plan. What happened was, once you get into the grocery business, you get a chance to spend all this time with people. And there were fantastic people that I worked with. And I just fell in love with the people and fell in love with the the industry. The grocery industry is an interesting one. It's almost like a, an almost, you get hooked on it. It's like a very positive drug.
Elaine Tan Comeau 5:58
That is, I guess a good drug is working with weight loss. And so and so youngly started when you're 16. And we have three tween teens. And our 15 year old son just got his, uh, started a new job. I don't want to say it was his first job because when he was 10, he was delivering newspapers, door to door and they hail and rain, and sleet, Vancouver. But so he
Darrell Jones 6:27
was an entrepreneur like his mom.
Elaine Tan Comeau 6:31
My heart would break as I watched him and his little wagon walk off into the darkness, even though it was like 5pm delivering newspapers. But now he's he's making mac and cheese and bubble tea at a at a restaurant locally. So he's working, too.
Darrell Jones 6:49
That's great. That's good for him.
Ron Comeau 6:52
Now, Darrell, when we when I spotted you on the ferry, I had known you from advertising and Canucks games, of course. And as President of our favorite grocery store, local grocery store, Save On Foods when we Googled you afterwards. That's when we learned about your your long journey. From you know, working as a grocery clerk to being president of Save On Foods, which is incredible story Can you can you give us like the 14 year overview of how you went to I think it was 23 Different communities 23 on your way to the top?
Darrell Jones 7:20
Absolutely. First of all, I was fortunate to get hired when I did, it was always a plum job back in 1976, I have to tell you, when I got hired, it was always a pump job to work in the supermarket. So I was fortunate enough to, to get hired. And as I said, I fell in love with the people. And you know, the grocery business is ultimately a people business. And I just opportunities came, you know, you work hard and you you show dedication, and people want you to take on a little bit more responsibility. So I so I moved from Cranbrook and went to the lower mainland where I got a full time job because I was part time kramaric went full time and then worked my way up to become a what was a senior clerk and moved around the Lower Mainland for for a large number of stores we have a large number of stores will remain. And then we'd like to be a grocery Manager, which was the next stage and then the system manager. Then we got transferred to Cornell where I spent some time there as assistant manager and came back to white rock and eventually was made store manager and store in Walnut Grove. All this took about 17 or 18 years and I spent two or three years as a store manager and then became a regional director, which meant you had a group of stores and then became the general manager of safe foods. Vice President and on. But I have to tell you, that the opportunities that I got are because the ownership of our company, Jimmy Patterson, and and it's been a long tradition of our company to to promote people within. So you get the chance to advance yourself and to move forward. Because You committed yourself to the company and because you You worked hard and did the things that you required to get there. So I'm I consider myself to be very lucky guy. I'm really lucky guy. lucky because I went to work for good company and lucky because you know, I was continuing to give more and more opportunities to to, you know, move forward and take on bigger levels of responsibility. And so that that I feel very, very fortunate.
Elaine Tan Comeau 9:29
Oh, you're incredibly humble. Because with that when you say lucky I'm hearing through your story of perseverance and drive and passion and rather than luck, but And yes, I understand working at a great company where there's opportunities to advance from within is brilliant and, and such a motivator in a company and that was very smart of Save On Foods. Now, with that passion that you have, I'd love to No what what is, if you were to define what your passion is, what is it? And did you always have that passion, like when you were in your early 20s? Was it the same passion?
Darrell Jones 10:10
I think, I think you get a passion for business itself. And then you get a passion for the business that you're in. And then you discover that, that you have an opportunity to really contribute to not only your business, but to the communities that you're in. And that's always a big part of it, is when you go into a town or a community, the first thing you want to do is how can I help the community and because if you help the community and take care of the community, they're likely to come and want to want to visit your stores. So I think that's really, really important. I think the I'll take this opportunity to say, the biggest reason that people aren't successful in what they do, is because of fear, fears, without a doubt, the number one disabler in any, in any business, or in any industry or in anything that you do in life, that's if you can figure out how to put the fears behind you. And it's not easy, that will help you go a long way. And I think, I think when I learned that, that was kind of the key to, to allowing me to take on bigger responsibilities and, and, you know, progress, progress forward.
Elaine Tan Comeau 11:27
Wow, that is so true, right? Walk through that fear. And you know, to our listeners, who are many are startups and small business owners and entrepreneurs, you are absolutely right. Fear can can really paralyze us from growth or taking that next step. And, and you know, there's that definition of what is an entrepreneur is a person who jumps off the cliff and builds the airplane on the way down.
Darrell Jones 11:53
That's a good analogy.
Elaine Tan Comeau 11:55
And then throw and being a mom, entrepreneur, you're like jumping off the cliff, making lunches, helping with homework, driving to soccer, building the airplane as you go down. And it's a little crazy. And it's a little scary to take risks, because you're thinking well, what about my kids, and, and who will be there. And you know, I always say, when you're approaching a meeting, don't be embarrassed to give your story. And and there's a lot of respect that that can happen through that honesty of saying that you are a small business or an entrepreneur who's working off your kitchen table. And I know that I have been blessed through that like creating Easy Daysies, which is our children's daily visual schedule from off our kitchen table, to getting into retail stores across Canada. It is a lot of it was stepping into fear of the unknown. But you know, we have to learn to accept to the rejections and then not yet. Because sometimes it isn't that and there'll be say, Yes, I want your product. And, and so you never know unless you take that step into into that unknown, that scary unknown. Darrell, there is a saying that says, you know, tough times don't last but tough people do. And I think in your incredible journey you've seen and gone through so much. Is there an instance where you can recall one particular downtime where you just want to throw in the towel where you're, you thought I had this, maybe even like, quit this point, maybe even not quit but a down point in your journey that you learned from that you could share with us?
Darrell Jones 13:37
Sure, I can share, I can share one that really comes to mind back in the 80s. In the food business, people were hardest for me to say this, people promoted based upon their longevity in the job. So so so you, you could go from assist, you get to Assistant Store Manager as fast as you want it. But to get the store manager, they had a seniority list. And back in the day, if you weren't in the top three, forget about it. So like I got to be assistant manager rather quickly. And I remember going to the regional director at the time and saying like, you know, the camera use manager story goes, Are you kidding? You're impeached, two and a half your two and a half pages. And I said, Well, what about this? He said, If you could pave the roads with gold, it wouldn't get you there any quicker. That's just the way we work. We don't work that way anymore here. But so so at that point, I got I got very frustrated that the fact that wasn't the opportunity to advance now that's simply gone. It was old school back then. But for a while where I thought, you know, maybe I should go into something else because, you know, this isn't the case. And as it happened, I managed to be able to skip the line at some point. Because some of the you know, the older Phil Asafa Chol people moved on. And we were able to do that. Now that has nothing to do with how we advanced today. But that's just the way it was at that particular stage. So you got, so you get you get frustrated. But you know, the reason I didn't leave is the same reason that I'm here today. Because there's so many great people within the organization, so many great customers, you get a chance to be in our business, you get a chance to be involved in things that are going on the communities, the local parades, you know, the food bank, whatever that is. And I'd love people. And that's always driven me to, I don't know what I do if I wasn't in the people business, quite honestly, because that's what that's what drives me, internally is love of none of the grocery business, but the desire to be there to support people.
Elaine Tan Comeau 15:50
That's what makes you such a great leader, Darrell, is your love for people. And so thank you for being that role model to not just your team, but to us on the outside.
Darrell Jones 16:04
I appreciate that people. Look, we're not going to be anywhere in this world. If we don't take care of our children, don't care, take care of the young people, and get ourselves forward, because some of us are getting a little great. We're gonna need other people to step up and take up the banners.
Elaine Tan Comeau 16:21
Well, thank you for being a great leader. And speaking of leaders and mentors, I, and I apologize for the dog. Now, what did you have a mentor? And who was one of your mentors? And what was the biggest impact that you had from this person?
Darrell Jones 16:44
Yeah, I would, I've had two big mentors in my life. One one was my one was my father, who who always said, you know, if you want to, if you want to be successful, and go anywhere, you have to, you have to do three things. One is you have to work hard. And you have to be honest. And, and you have to make sure that you that you never read your own press clippings, in other words, always stay humble. And because humility is, is one of the keys to stay in is one of the keys to success. That doesn't mean you can't be successful. If you're if you don't have humility, it just makes it being successful, a lot easier, because people that people want to work for and want to support people that they can identify with that. So those of the and I got the very similar instruction from Jimmy Pattison, who was one of my other mentors. Here's what Jimmy said to me, the day that I took over as president, he said, Darrell, it's your company to run, don't run it the way you think you should run it the way I think you should run it, rather the way you think you should run. And just remember one thing. Do anything you want, as long as you're okay with being published on the front page of every newspaper in Canada?
Elaine Tan Comeau 18:08
Wow, I love that. Can I share that with my teens?
Darrell Jones 18:14
And I said, Well, you know, what's the other things that look girl, if you say you're gonna do something and you shake somebody's hand and say, Yeah, we're going to do this. He said, I don't care if it costs millions of dollars, you do what you said you were going to do, because that's what we do at the Pattison Food Group. So that's kind of what I've what I wanted to say. But I'd Save On Foods. So that's kind of what I've, what I've those are the kinds of things that that kind of well, set my my, I guess, northern North Star. So to speak.
Elaine Tan Comeau 18:43
I appreciate you sharing what great advice for your father work hard. Be honest, be humble. Love that and firm Jimmy Pattison, I love that, like, whatever you do. know, do something you are comfortable with being published on page of every newspaper, I
Darrell Jones 19:04
don't do anything. That's the slightest bit not above board, which we would never do. But that was good advice. If you've got advice to everyone in the new store managers that we get in the company, I give them the same advice.
Elaine Tan Comeau 19:18
I think that every single employee should hear that one that is excellent, because everybody represents the business they work for, I think, and you know, and, and you know, even on a family level, I use it to my kids. We love our kids. Our kids are fantastic, phenomenal human beings. And you know, you know, whether they're out at a mall with their friends or in a chat on Discord or on one of the social media platforms. I always share with them that you know, whatever you do and say, you know, you have to be comfortable with it as though it's gonna be played at church or read out loud by the pastor. Even if you're not saying or doing it, but you're in that conversation or with that group of friends doing something you are not comfortable with, you need to remove yourself. And be okay with that.
Darrell Jones 20:11
So Well, good for you. Because that's, that's great kids come from great parents. So, so good on you.
Elaine Tan Comeau 20:17
Oh, thank you kindly Thank you work in progress for sure. Now, Darrell, that sadly, more than 50% of small businesses do not survive after your five Mark, what would you say are the top three tips for having a successful business?
Darrell Jones 20:37
Well, number one, I think you have to believe in what you do, and love what you do. So So I think that's number one. Don't get into business just because you think you can, because you can think you can make money out, make sure it's something that you truly want to do. Because then you'll find, then you'll find ways to get past the adversity that are there. Yeah, and number two, I would say, always be prepared to pivot if you have to pivot. So in other words, have a plan. But if it's not working, step back end, if you can get get somebody that you really trust that and have a conversation with them about it. Because you know, two brains are way more powerful than one. So if you can do that, if you if you run into issues, then if you got somebody special to or a partner, I think that's that's really, that's really important. So, really want to do you want to do make sure you get somebody to that maybe you can talk to that might might be able to give you honest, honest, clear advice, because sometimes we get off track and we're not even aware that we've that we've that we moved off track. So I think that's really important. And I think the third one is what I said earlier, never give out like don't don't just don't just pack it in. Because sometimes, you know, the, the successes just beyond just beyond the horizon. And there's a there's a book that I store that I got from from a fellow His name is Jim Rohn. He's uh, have you ever heard of him? He was a, he's passed away now. But he talked about a story about a fellow at a goldmine. And he was he was working at the goldmine for five years. And the after five years, he didn't make any money. He's losing money. So he, so he packed it in sold the goldmine. And the guy who somebody stepped in bought the goldmine. He was two feet from the mother lode. Wow. So if he'd stayed two more feet, it would have hit them, it would have hit the motherlode. So sometimes you're a lot closer to success in business and you are, you know, so back to the thing, you know, don't really ever give up, reposition it, rethink it. But but there's not too many people that have been successful ultimately in the world that you will read about that didn't face serious adversity. I read once that of the of the millionaires or I think it's a billionaires, like 80% of them went broke at least once before they got to the spot that they did. Yes. So so your, your, if you haven't a tough time you're in good company.
Elaine Tan Comeau 23:23
That that is you know, when you're when you're sharing this, like two feet away from the mother lode of the gold, I actually saw a cartoon that oh, yeah, she was laying chiseling, chiseling, and you can see the gold's right there, the diamonds, the gems, just just, you know, a couple of inches, Maurice, keep working at it, and they throw in the towel. But I love that and I'm such a visual person. So when you're saying that I just pictured that. And I want to say congratulations, first of all you are Entrepreneur of the Year in 2021, the winner of that award, and I read your an article about you and VC business and you shared the secret sauce, to success for any entrepreneur is to be different and better than your competitors and to be innovative and try things that no one else has, and see if they work. I love that. So if someone was listening right now our listeners really well how do I be different? I am just trying to survive and breathe and and just make the next dollar. So how would one start thinking about being innovative or, or differentiating themselves? What would you give us advice there?
Darrell Jones 24:46
So that that's absolutely the right way to view things. Depending on what you're doing. Often, often people don't know what they want, until you tell Have them what it is that they want. I don't mean it that straightforward. But let's say you're making jam. Okay? And everybody makes strawberry jam because pretty hard to do that and everybody. So try something different but different things together that nobody's tried before. And then and give that a whirl that's just in the system the jam is or is there, you know, back in the day there was peanut butter and jam that went together one joy, you don't see that anymore. So what is it that you can do in the things that you love? Because if you're passionate about what you do, you probably have some really cool ideas. Again, most of the time, it's because people are scared to try something I keep coming back to fear. Because I've I've discovered in in my career, that's the number one disabling factor for why entrepreneurs aren't successful or people aren't successful at their jobs. So understand what it is that you do B love it, and then figure out what the best way I can put his Wayne Gretzky they always said great, Wayne Gretzky always said, skate where the puck is going. Right? Not where the puck is skate where it's going. So if you're an entrepreneur, think about where your business is going, and then go there first, before anybody else. And you'll and that's a, that's a really good way to be successful. In our business. We were the first in Canada to do e commerce in the grocery business. And, and we decided that we were going to have our own bands, we weren't going to use skip the dishes or or some of the other companies that are out there. Yes. And we ultimately, were able to get our E commerce business, just about double with the national averages. But we did that because we took we took, we took a we knew that the customers are going to want this and that, of course COVID had hit that, that that helped us right. But had we not taken the steps we had, we would never been prepared for what happened when, when when COVID hit. So that's a little bit about thinking about where the puck is going as opposed to just chasing.
Elaine Tan Comeau 27:08
I love that. That is my huge takeaway from you this, this conversation is is go where the puck is going, not where it is. Brilliant, wonderful advice. I love that so much. Thank you. My goodness, I'm talking a lot. Ron, do you want to chime in with any questions? Sure.
Ron Comeau 27:28
Well, when since you mention sorry, go ahead.
Elaine Tan Comeau 27:30
My husband loves sports analogies. So that was like I was like jumping up and down for him. When you just make that sports analogy.
Ron Comeau 27:37
I always say life is like sports. Don't I. I've got I've got 100 of those. Yes, Wayne Gretzky, one of the best to listen to, you reminded me with the talking about the online business. Correct me if I'm wrong, but since since you took over as president of Save On Foods 10 years ago, you've increased your store footprint by about 50%, which is a ridiculously large number in a mature industry. My question would be because a lot of our listeners are people like us, we're small business entrepreneurs. And scalability becomes becomes an issue you can you can stay the size you are and either be successful with that or not. Or you can also very easily scale on profitably and put yourself out of business. But there's an art and I think, a science to scaling successfully that you seem to have a really good talent for. So how do you do it?
Darrell Jones 28:30
Well, you know, that's a, that's a great question. One of the things that, that Jimmy said to me, which always stuck with me, and I'll share it, because it's really part of this, he said, he said, Do whatever you want, but don't bet the company on it. Don't bet the company. So I think that's a really good thing for for people who are moving forward and say, Look, you think he can you can get here, but you might be better off just taking it in smaller bites, you know, go provincially before he decided to go nationally. And I think that's, I think that's really important is to say, you know, what, is it the week if this goes wrong? If this goes wrong? Can we withstand it? I think that's, that's what we always look at, look, if this doesn't work, is it gonna? Is it gonna? Is it gonna put us in in serious jeopardy? If it is, you likely shouldn't do it, because you're going to push too far. And that doesn't mean that you're scared. Big difference, it means you're calculating Is this a good business risk are not a good business risk. And I think that's, that's, that's really important because you don't want to bet your company on on on something that that is maybe a little bit too risky. And that's a large reason why a lot of entrepreneurs fail is because they try and push too far too quickly. Instead of having a bit of having a bit of, of patients in how quickly that they that they, you know, decide to to go forward and then as best you can research whether or not there's a real need or desire for, for what it is you want to do. And what's the competition out there. Like, if it's unique, and something that people want, you may be willing to take a little bit more risk. So it's so it really becomes comes down to being, you know, make sure you're risk adverse of any, because you don't want to take your company down.
Elaine Tan Comeau 30:21
Now, great advice. Great advice. I'm gonna ask a question. That's the flip of what I asked earlier. And because you've seen a lot, you've gone through a lot, you've also seen a lot of mistakes that have happened along the way. So with regards to small businesses and entrepreneurs, what would you say are the top three mistakes that small businesses and entrepreneurs should avoid?
Darrell Jones 30:48
Number one, if you're getting into small business, make sure that that you're unique and what you do. In other words, what's your angle? What are you doing that's different than everybody else is, because of me too, is it's really tough just to be me, too. So I think number one is make sure you you, you understand what your point of differentiation is, and go out there. Number two, I would say, make sure that you do a good job of telling your story to so they know, what your what your, what you have, and why it's unique. And and there's a whole bunch of different ways to do that today. But I think that's, that's, that's really important. And finally, I would say, never quit. If you have to, if you have to, Bob or weave or, or or adjust, because things aren't working, that's fine. But But most people, you know, when they face some adversity, they tend to want to say, obviously, this isn't going to work. And it's going to be a it's going to be a failure. And maybe that's the case, but probably it isn't the case probably just needs a little more work and a little more thinking to look at things from a slightly different angle.
Elaine Tan Comeau 32:15
Now, I appreciate all of that such great advice to know how you are different and unique in a very competitive. Any anything that that if you're my listener right now, who's listening and whether you're making jams, or in a service industry, is it is competitive. So how are we different? How are you different and better. And, and as you said, do a good job at telling your story. And you know, social media is so great for that and that you know, with a small budget, or no budget when you're starting out or a new small business or an entrepreneur, use those platforms and share your story share well be creative and how you share it. I don't know if you have advice on on how to market yourself. Darrell, do you have any words on that? Sure.
Darrell Jones 33:09
Absolutely. First of all, if you if you're in if you're in the food business, in BC, or in Alberta, come to us go to our stores, go to our stores, as long as your product store manager store our store managers can can are have the ability to put the proctor store you have to pass certain food safety rules and you know, you understand all that. But you can come forward to us. We'll we'll put your products in we have we have sections that are for local products, and we'll be happy to do it. We've had many people come with local products that have ended up going national because they put their products in and and they started getting busier and busier. And all of a sudden the potato chip that they made in Cranbrook which somebody did. All of a sudden it gets bought by by a big company and you're off to the races. Chinese story there's a there was a potential company I can't remember the name of it off the top of my head. But they they made chips that were desert potato chips that were apple cinnamon and Apple Cinnamon chips. And and at some point somehow they got to Barack Obama. And he got a chance to try them. I forget the story. There's a story there. But she ended up sending a case of potato chips every two weeks to the White House. Well, he was the president and that was somebody who had a potato chip company in my hometown of Cranbrook so that just and of course she got bigger and bigger and eventually, eventually the company got I believe that company got bought out by by one of the one of the majors, but now that was pretty creative of a desert potato chip. Now I'm sure they they probably exist out there. but this one was really, really good. And she just had one machine that she bought that she got in Germany to make these chips anyway. So So and we put them on our stores and and she was very successful. And there's there's been, there's certainly been others as well. So So yeah, you know, you can go out there and, and you know a lot of being successful is, is getting your product on the shelves and pushing, pushing for yourself. And I can tell you, we'll take on those products. And if somebody's having a hard time, you just get them to call me. And I'll do what I can to support them getting them on the shelves, because we think that I said in the very beginning of the podcast, that that small businesses is the is the engine that runs this country. Absolutely. And entrepreneurs are the engine of small business. So there's nothing that companies like ours, we, we should and will support entrepreneurs and small business people because without you we wouldn't have a country. Literally. That's That's how critical it is.
Elaine Tan Comeau 36:06
That's awesome, incredible. And I'm sure that my listeners are excited and motivated to hate to take risks now and to I don't know, just probably, I'm thinking of them as they're driving and they just want to pull over and like run into a run into their office and get busy because of what you're sharing. And run. I don't know if you had a question before I ask you another question.
Ron Comeau 36:30
You have to have a little fearlessness would be good. Well, you're gonna ask what's next for Darrell probably, before that. So we'll go back to the past then. Anyone, anyone who's listening to us in British Columbia probably knows who Jimmy Pattison is. He's a he's a legendary businessman and human being. Can you can you share with us a funny or poignant Jimmy story and your times working with him?
Darrell Jones 36:57
Oh, I have to tell you, I've got a I've got a whole bunch of those. As you know, Jimmy, they tried to, they tried to the banks pull the pull all of his loans on him three times. So he's multibillionaire about three times they pulled the loans on them. And what I learned from Jimmy is, when you're going to see the banks, banks will give you all the money that you need, provided, they don't think you need it. As soon as the banks and soon as the banks think you need the money, it's a little more difficult to get the money. So Jimmy always, always would find out ways for for him to convince the banks that he really didn't need the money. And as soon as he did that, he got he got the money that he needed. So I think that's always tough for for entrepreneurs. So I think you know, that's, that's a great story. I mean, Jimmy went to all kinds of lengths to convince him I didn't need the money. And of course, he did. In the end, he got the money in it, and that it, it survived. He survived and his company grew because of it. It was so bad. One time I'll share this with you was so tough. So it wasn't easy for him although he's been ultimately successful school but at one time when I was much younger, in stores we put in, in the back in the day, we had coffins for freezers not stand up, there were coffins, I remember the coffin freezers, we, because he was trying to lessen how much money he put out. We put Styrofoam under and popped holes in it. And then we put the frozen stuff on top. So it looked like it was full. But it was really good. We were trying to control our costs that much. And we would cashed in every cash up every day, sending every penny to the bank just to keep afloat. So even the most successful business people ever all went through tough times. Yeah. And today, the ultimately successful but but he never quit, he never gave up and and he did whatever he had to do. And I think that's I think that's that's a that's a big key is is to, you know,
Elaine Tan Comeau 39:12
Darrell Jones 39:15
Persevere. And, and always remember that as soon as the banks don't think you need the money, they'll be happy to give it to you.
Elaine Tan Comeau 39:22
I know that's a whole different conversation. I won't tell you that. Easy. Daysies has three loans going to Yeah, it's it's just what you need to do
Ron Comeau 39:31
Get it when you can for when you need. Absolutely. That's
Darrell Jones 39:36
absolutely when you got the opportunity, get the money socket aside. Because you never know when there'll be some kind of a downturn and you need to dive into that to dive into that. That fund. Some people say no, I don't want to get it now. If you can get it, get it, put it aside for and call it the rainy day fund. Oh,
Elaine Tan Comeau 39:56
you want to put it? So Darrell Jones what is next for you?
Darrell Jones 40:03
Well, that's a great story. That's a great question, we're going to continue to grow the Pattison fruit group, we recently bought a chain in, in the United States. And we're going to continue to grow down south as accompany, which is really, really important. The other thing that's really big is I'm the chair of Children's Hospital Foundation. And one of the things that we really want to push on is ways to help mental health in young people. That being, you know, from from being a young baby to, up to, I think it's 16 or 17. So if we can figure out ways to, to help young people, because often, young people who get who have mental illnesses or challenges they turn to drugs and things like that to as as almost like self medication, to make themselves feel better. And, and with went home with COVID. And everything, it's a, it's a real challenge, right now. So So from what I want to do, aside from the grocery business is to really work hard with the Children's Hospital try and raise funds for us to get facilities built and things to to help focus on is probably the biggest single challenge facing young people today is, is mental health. And so from that side, it's this other side, it's continued to grow the business and, of course, really important to us is to make sure we make the right decisions to keep all those people, a lot of people depend on us to make their mortgage payments. So we want to make sure we keep doing the right things for them.
Elaine Tan Comeau 41:45
Darrell Jones 41:48
the I was a little more than when I got started.
Elaine Tan Comeau 41:52
No, I appreciate your contribution to BC Children's Hospital and your passion for helping children with mental health issues. And that's that's how Easy Daysies came about my children's product, which there's one right behind me. When I was a school teacher, I I knew that one in four children walked into my classroom with anxiety issues, one to five with a mental health issue, wanting to from a broken home. And the statistics go on so many numbers working against our children. And it just breaks my heart. And I fell in love with my class every year, as an elementary school teacher, my grade two class sang and our wedding. And wow, but now they're all old and find me on Twitter. But, you know, like, even during our pandemic, it was a blessing to see that Easy Daysies or daily visual schedules just fly off the shelves, because that daily visual, just the daily visual routine helps kids lessen their anxiety because they can see and what's happening next when there was so much chaos in the unknown during the pandemic. And so that that has been a blessing to me and very rewarding, because I still work off our kitchen table into the wee hours of the night. But but this is what keeps me going as those emails from parents sharing that, you know,
Darrell Jones 43:27
well, you got a great foundation being an elementary school teacher. That's what my wife was as well. And, and it's very rewarding. And the kids come back and you see them when they're a little bit older and special. share one quick story. I was watching golf on TV about three weeks ago. And they had this I can't think I'm sorry, I can't think of his name. But he was playing. He was on the leaderboard. And they said he was from from South Surrey originally sounds very white rock and I said to Elizabeth Hey, this guy's from South Surrey works you want to get oh, and what's his name? He told me she was he was in my grade 4 - 3 class. I remember him telling me what do you want to do? When you grew up? I want to be a professional golfer. There it was there it was. So she checked it out. And she showed me the thing where Elizabeth keeps all the stuff in the back, showed me the thing where this guy says he wants to be a pro golfer and there he wasn't he didn't win the tournament. But you know, he's on the tour. That is
Elaine Tan Comeau 44:28
beautiful. And so inspiring, I remember you know, I'd say to my grade three class, I can't wait to see what you do when you're 25 and you know, my heart still gets warmed because I they find me on Facebook or their parents will write to me through social media and saying, My son is studying medicine at UBC because you told him that he should be kind and caring for people when he was in your grade three class and it makes me cry. And I'm so humbled and honored
Darrell Jones 45:00
Teachers are the most in many, particularly elementary teachers, I want to say that are probably the most underappreciated group in society today. Because they can make such a difference. Absolutely. to children, but then to them as adults because of how they saw. So you have my deep admiration for your time teaching. And I know you probably change a whole bunch of lives. And that's not an easy thing to do so good on you.
Elaine Tan Comeau 45:31
I absolutely miss being in the classroom. I bet you do. Especially when I'm like trying to figure out logistics and manufacturing. Yeah, that's right. Exactly. Create a spelling test, please.
Darrell Jones 45:44
That's way easier.
Elaine Tan Comeau 45:46
Darrell, it's been our honor and our privilege to have you as our guest, and I just want to say, a heartful of thanks to you for sharing your wisdom and your heart here at Elaine's Kitchen Table.
Darrell Jones 45:59
Well, I really appreciate the opportunity, Elaine, and hopefully there's one or two little nuggets that people can pull out of that to help them and you know, good luck to you. Good luck with your business. And good luck to all of your followers. Yeah, thank you again for for inviting me.
Elaine Tan Comeau 46:19
And to our listeners. I just want to say thank you. Thank you for tuning in. And I love to hear back from you. So do find me on Twitter at chat with Elaine or on Instagram at Elaine tan Comeau. And I just want to say thank you and I hope and I know that Darrell has shared so many nuggets and just take one take one and take action. I just want to say that because you know we could hear a lot and be inspired and do nothing with it. And that is not what this show is for. So choose one and move forward. Thank you so much. Have a great day.
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