We strive to help make a positive, progressive difference within each community we serve. Thank you for allowing us this opportunity to proudly showcase the hard work our employees do everyday to help us keep our promise to each one of you.
Staff at the Northern store in Patuanak go above and beyond in supporting their community during the northern Saskatchewan wildfires in July, 2015.
Dense clouds of smoke blanketed the skies of Saskatchewan this summer. Hundreds of wildfires burned through northern Saskatchewan communities, leading to the evacuation of over 7,800 people - the largest evacuation in Saskatchewan's history.
As a wildfire 8 km north of Patuanak spread southeast, strong winds blew in smoke, thickening the air and making it difficult to breath. A full evacuation was called for Patuanak on July 4. When the evacuation notice was given, residents were advised to bring only essentials and medications.
For 11 days the community was virtually empty, only pets and a few tenacious residents left behind. It was a scene that had become all too common this summer. Fiona Whey, Northern Store Manager, and Grant Redden, Northern Department Manager, decided to stay and keep the store open for the few community members that remained, and to supply the wildfire government officials with groceries. Everyday they would travel around the community to feed the dogs that were left behind using food donated from the store and “The Pack Project".
Once community members found out that Fiona and Grant were in Patuanak, worried residents asked them to check in on their homes. Joined by Philomene, the grocery supervisor who cancelled her holiday to stay in Patuanak to help, Fiona and Grant would spend 2 hours a day after work watering plants, checking in on the homes, and feeding the animals. During the evacuation, they fostered two dogs in their own home, reunited a dog with its owner that was staying in Edmonton, and drove 5 hours (on their first day off) to bring abandoned puppies to a rescue group.
Fiona and Grant's commitment to their community did not go unnoticed. In an overwhelming show of gratitude, community members took to the store’s Facebook page to express their thanks to Fiona and Grant for their outstanding efforts!
The North West Company Supports Northern Breakfast Programs
The North West Company, in partnership with Minute Maid and the Breakfast Club of Canada deliver over 190,000 juice boxes to 13 schools in northern Manitoba and Ontario.
For the second year, The North West Company, in partnership with the Breakfast Clubs of Canada and Minute Maid have supplied 100% apple and orange juice boxes to breakfast programs in northern Manitoba and Ontario. Over 190,000 juice boxes were delivered by The North West Company to 13 schools in nine northern communities.
The partnership began in 2013 when the Breakfast Clubs of Canada engaged its partner, Minute Maid, to provide free product to each community and approached North West to deliver the products through our Northern stores operating in the nine communities.
Our logistics expertise in moving product to remote areas and access to the communities allows for a smooth transition from the supplier to the community.
The shipments are made two to three times a year and all the air freight fees are assumed by The North West Company. It’s just one of the ways that we contribute to the breakfast programs in the communities served by our Northern stores.
Journey of the Juice
The collaborative effort begins with the Breakfast Clubs of Canada coordinating and ordering the juice from Minute Maid. Once the delivery amounts are set, cases of juice are packaged and shipped to The North West Company’s Winnipeg warehouse. Once it has arrived in Winnipeg, North West takes over.
The warehouse logistics team arranges the delivery schedules for each community and coordinates the juice’s transportation on an air freight carrier. The juice then arrives in the Northern stores and is personally delivered to the schools by the store manager. In some cases, the community will receive over 300 cases of juice at no charge. If the school does not have enough storage space for the juice, it will remain at the Northern store and be delivered as needed.
Currently the partnership supplies 100% apple and orange juice have supplied nursery through grade 12 schools in:
• Garden Hill, MB
• St. Theresa Point, MB
• Wasagamack, MB
• Red Sucker Lake, MB
• Poplar River, MB
• Little Grand Rapids, MB
• Pauingassi, MB
• Churchill, MB
• Bearskin, ON
We would be thrilled to see the program expanded. At North West we have begun to identify other communities that could greatly benefit from the program.
Making Healthy Choices Affordable
Since April 2011, The North West Company has dropped retail prices on Nutrition North Canada subsidized items an average of 9%, but believes increased funding and the addition of more communities are necessary for the program’s continued success.
The North West Company has tracked approximately 4,300 subsidized items across 67 communities since the Nutrition North Canada (NNC) program began. Since April 2011, the price of these subsidized items has dropped an average of 9%. These results were achieved despite the fact that the price for North West to purchase food has increased.
The lower prices are a direct result of the Nutrition North subsidies and The North West Company's savings on freight outweighing the additional operating costs.
These lower prices have translated into consumers buying significantly more healthy food. At our stores, Nutrition North food purchases are up by 26%. An analysis of a basket of eligible products for our 2015 First Quarter indicated the average consumption of dairy, meat, and produce has increased.
The impact that NNC has had is evident when comparing consumption of healthy products between subsized and unsubsidized communities. Stark differences in consumption patterns can be seen in the neighbouring communities of Lac Brochet (full subsidy) and Brochet (no subsidy) which are only 80 kilometers apart in northern Manitoba and equally remote and reliant on winter road.
The price difference between subsidized and unsubsidized communities underlines the need to have NNC expanded to all remote regions with limited accessibility, to assist in making healthy food choices, such as milk, more affordable.
Four litres of milk in Lac Brochet is $8.79, whereas the same product in Brochet is $14.99. In Fond du Lac, located 338km away, the same four litre milk is $19.79.
Similarly, a 5lb bag of red potatoes in the fully subsidized community of Bearskin Lake is $6.49, whereas the same product in the unsubsidized community of Keewaywin, located 163 km away, is $10.49.
The North West Company has four years of experience with the NNC program and we’ve carefully tracked its successes and needs for improvement. Funding should increase to keep pace with food inflation and population growth. In addition, we urge that the inequities between neighbouring communities be addressed in order for more communities to be included in the program.
Rankin Inlet, NU QuickStop Grand Opening
The North West Company and residents of Rankin Inlet welcome the newest neighbor to the community on June 23, 2015 with the opening of the new QuickStop convenience store.
Grey skies, cool winds and rain didn’t stop the residents of Rankin Inlet from welcoming their newest neighbour to the community. On June 23, approximately 150 people braved the elements to celebrate the Grand Opening of the QuickStop convenience store. The community packed into the 2,000 square foot store and started the festivities with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Following the special inauguration, residents enjoyed cake, giveaways and a drum dancing performance.
Sure to become quick favourites, the new QuickStop features a Tim Hortons beverage and baked goods counter, as well as a full service meal counter that includes chicken, breakfast foods, pizza and F’Real milkshakes.
Construction began in late 2014. The store includes a capital investment in the community of approximately $2 million. The investment includes contributions made through the purchase of local goods and services from companies such as: Ed’s Electrical, A&S Contracting, Wild Wolf Hotel, Uminhmak Supply, and Kivalliq Property Management.