New leader at John’s nofrills

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John Harris is no stranger to Alberta.

The Ontario native has spent much of his career between the two provinces and is now making his home here in Innisfail as the new owner of John’s nofrills.

Harris took over the reins early this summer from departing owner Kevin Meyer, who recently moved to British Columbia.

“Kevin did a great job here. I just want to continue what he did and work on building our customers’ trust and confidence in the company name. I want them to be happy about their shopping experience,” said Harris.

His retail career has taken him all over Alberta and Ontario. His Alberta work has included stints in Airdrie, Calgary and Red Deer, while in Ontario he has worked in London and in Timmins.

The 32-year-old native of Chapleau, Ont. brings more than a decade of experience with him in his new role.

“I’ve been in retail for a long time. I’ve continually looked for opportunities to develop myself and grow in the business,” said Harris. “I went from produce manager to grocery manager, assistant store manager, to store manager and to a franchise candidate most recently with nofrills in the past year.”

As part of a franchise candidate team, Harris had potential opportunities in other parts of the province but chose Innisfail with little hesitation.

“This was an area I was interested in. Innisfail is a nice little town just outside the city,” he said.

Now settled into his new store in Innisfail, Harris has been busy becoming acquainted with the town and staff he works with. They include a hard-working team of about 40 employees.

“Everybody’s a team here. I have a produce manager, meat manager, front end manager and an assistant store manager,” said Harris, noting he looks forward to continuing to provide the high quality Loblaw’s brands and products that cutomers have come to know and appreciate.

“For our customers and for the people of Innisfail, I want to make them proud of their location. I want them to appreciate the products we offer and be happy with our day-to-day offering as far as customer service, a clean, stress-free shop with great products at low prices,” explained Harris. “That’s what I want to offer the people of Innisfail.”

In his new role, Harris wants to share his knowledge and experience with his employees. He also sees communication between him, employees and customers as key factors in his future success here.

“I look at myself as a mentor and a leader and I love that about my role,” said Harris, adding he wants to be a coach for his employees and support them in their growth and in life.

Being a part of his new community is just as important as his new business role in Innisfail.

“I also want to get into the community and help out and look at areas where I can get involved,” he said. “That’s one reason I was excited about a small community like Innisfail. I felt like I could offer more and look for ways where I could give back from outside the store.

“I’m excited about this opportunity and I look forward to serving the community,” Harris concluded.

kjean@innisfail.greatwest.ca

John Harris, owner

“This was an area I was interested in. Innisfail is a nice little town just outside the city.”

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Kristine Jean

Kristine Jean is a reporter with the Innisfail Province, joining the newspaper in 2013. She covers Penhold municipal politics, news and community events as well as sports in and around the town as well as in Innisfail.