11 May We never stop learning how to excel

At Qualifirst we never stop learning how to excel: in terms of gastronomy, management and marketing, we live with a hunger to continually do better as a player of substance in the fascinating world of food. This week was a perfect example of efforts we expend as a team.

Going to TradeShows, Events and Courses:

Our CEO, Yves Farges, came to Toronto to attend the Terroir Symposium, an annual event that brings together chefs, service experts, business leaders, wine & beverage professionals and food writers. Its wide range of presentations, displays and events showcased products as well influential people from many parts of the globe from Quebec to Sweden. This event is a prestigious opportunity to interact with people who are passionate about food and hospitality services.

At the same time, I attended a week-long leadership course hosted by the Rotman Business School at the University of Toronto.

These events follow an equally hectic week prior, which saw us participating in Bakery Showcase 2014 in Toronto, where we partnered with Amoretti to rent a rather large booth on the showcase floor.

Amoretti Founders
“Amoretti Ingredients were not created for Profit, but for Perfection”

This event also gave our Vancouver based COO Jodi MacKinnon a chance to come back to Toronto to help host our presence there.

This event followed on the heels of an intense product training session with Amoretti at our own Toronto Kitchen Centre, at which  our Toronto and Montreal  team held a workshop with the the 2 owners of Amoretti Jack and Maral Barsoumian , to understand  Amoretti’s ingredient and flavours line.

Congratulations are definitely in order for both the Vancouver and Toronto teams for putting in the extra effort during these busy weeks.

The Rotman Business School experience reminded me how the challenges faced by a small business are not the same as those of larger corporations. The course focused heavily on large business leadership where there is a large pool of internal people to draw upon and nurture, and where support from departments such as Human Resources (HR) is readily available. Small business does not operate quite like that. There is not the same large pool of people to draw from.

Everyone can make a difference:

In a small business, every hire or promotion that you make has proportionally larger impact on the company as a whole. This means that there is greater pressure to locate, identify and train the right managers. Mis-hires and poor training can quickly be the number one expense in a small growing business. It must be a strategy that is continually “on the table.”

For me, strategy is very much a full time job. Working on the correct strategy will help take Qualifirst to the next level in this busy and highly competitive industry; not so we can merely survive there, but so we can prosper and be continue to be the best at what we do.

Quote of the week:

“A company should limit its growth based on its ability to attract enough of the right people.”

― Jim Collins, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t

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