This week I am heading to Vancouver to touch base with the Qualifirst team members in our Western office, to thank them for their contributions to the growing success of Qualifirst, and to listen to their questions and concerns.
Vancouver is where our founders, the Farges family, built the reputation that we still proudly uphold today: a reputation for importing and distributing exotic and wonderful foods from around the world.
Back then in the late 1950’s, Michel and Nicole Farges ran their company â€“ Far-Met Importers â€“ as a small, family-run business that broke new ground by importing exotic foods that had in many cases, not been seen before in Canada. Foie Gras from Rougie, Wine Vinegars from France, Flageolets from Belgium, Sardines from Portugal, and cheese! Some amazing varieties of cheese.
Soon Far-Met became famous as one of the largest distributors of gourmet foods in Western Canada.
Serve from two warehouses as one company with one mission:
Later, in 1983, our CEO, Yves Farges, moved eastwards from Vancouver to put down roots in Toronto, and then in 1998, he returned to Vancouver to buy Far-Met from his parents, so that we could serve our customers from two warehouses and offices as one company, one team, and with one mission.
Every one of us, in Vancouver as well as in Toronto and our satellite cities in North America and Europe, is critical to the success of Qualifirst Foods. Some of us work in the office, some in the warehouse, some in outside sales, and others from home. It’s our shared values â€“ hard work, excellence, and continuous improvement that make Qualifirst such a strong company and allows us to work as one team, and it is thanks to this collective effort that we have become the professional’s first choice for specialty food.
Staying Top-of-mind for Gourmet answers:
In this Internet age, our customers have access to all types of information, but somewhere along the way, every person in the food business has to look up from their screens and ask, â€œcan I trust this?â€ and â€œwho can I trust?â€ When they ask this question, I am proud to say, that the Qualifirst Team comes first to their mind.
We work so well as one team in part because we hold ourselves and each other accountable. Every Qualifirst employee is someone special; someone who has been picked not just because of a job opening, but because of who they are, and what they can do, and how their personalities, ambition and passion fit with everyone, and with everything that Qualifirst stands for.
When we apply our passion for the highest quality food ingredients, we attract customers who share that passion, and they in turn deliver amazing, best-in-the-world products and dishes to the buying public.
And all of this is evident in the values that the Vancouver and Toronto offices have in common.
Qualifirst employees give their all â€“ they do their best every day. And that’s how it should be. We need to surround ourselves with hard working, smart people at every level, so that we can meet our commitments and continue to exceed our customers’ expectations.
â€œTrust is knowing that when a team member does push you, they’re doing it because they care about the team.â€
â€• Patrick Lencioni, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable