When I think of retail in Canada, Empire Company Limited is one of the companies that immediately comes to mind. Reaching far and wide in both footprint and innovation, the parent company of banners like FreshCo and Sobeys has made a legacy of shopping experiences that fulfill the needs of regional and national demographics across the diverse landscape of Canada’s consumer base. Mike Venton, General Manager, FreshCo, Empire Company Limited, has been an impactful retail veteran in this space, and one who has watched the buy-side shift and evolve to meet today’s changing buying behaviors. While we often seek him out for insights in grocery and fresh produce, we decided to throw him a few questions to tease his imagination and pull back a different curtain of sorts. And so, let the games begin, as Mike joins us to share the responses to a few of our favorite what IFs...
IF you could have been born in another century or decade, which would it be and why?
Ancient Greece. I’d love to witness warriors like Alexander the Great and live in the era of Aristotle, as examples.
IF you had to choose now, what would your last meal consist of?
A ribeye steak, lobster tail, asparagus, rice, and fresh fruit paired with the finest Napa Valley Cabernet.
IF you could have any actor play you in a movie, who would you want?
Michael Douglas in Falling Down.
IF you could imagine yourself in a different industry, what would it be?
I would love to be a musician.
IF you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
IF you could redo one moment or event in your life, which one would you choose and why?
The decision to delay going to university.
IF you were another species in the animal kingdom, what would you be?
IF you wrote an autobiography, what would be the title?
IF you could make everyone watch a movie of your choosing, which movie would you want them to see?
The Shawshank Redemption.
IF you had to eat the same thing every day for the rest of your days, what would you eat?
IF you could enhance one aspect of your intelligence, what part would you want to improve?
IF you could join a musician, dead or alive, on stage to sing along or play an instrument with, who would you choose?
IF you could re-experience an awesome day in your life, what day would you choose?
The day my first child was born.
IF you had $10 million that you had to donate to someone else, who would you choose?
Either a person or an organization that I thought could cure cancer.
IF you had a superpower, what would you want it to be?
To speak all languages.
IF you had to choose one song to be the soundtrack of your summer season, what would it be?
Lose Yourself by Eminem.
IF you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Never settle for second best.