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We asked Lenard’s stockist Roz White of White’s Grocers, Sunshine Coast, about the history behind the successful stores she owns with husband Michael, and why they proudly stock our premium handmade chicken products.
Please tell us a little about yourself, your background and how you came to enter the FMCG industry? Michael and I both came from a career in banking before stepping into a whole new industry, with no prior experience. Our motivation to buy our first store was because we wanted to remain on the Sunshine Coast and make it our home. Our step into retail was a steep learning curve, to say we were green would be the understatement of the century, but we quickly learnt, adapted, worked hard and are still learning new tricks almost 30 years on.
How did you come to own your own independent supermarket? We bought a 90m2 Nightowl Convenience Store in 1993 as a start and grew from there. We slowly bought small and older stores and built them up until we purchased our first IGA store in 2004.
Do you own more than one store? We have five IGA stores with our sixth store due to open in December 2022.
What do you love most about owning White’s IGA? Being an independent supermarket operator gives us a wide scope to build meaningful and enduring relationships with our customers, the industry and community, some from the very first moment we stepped into this industry. Three decades of partnerships feels more like old friends. There is a camaraderie that exists through longevity.
We continue to learn and evolve in this fast-paced environment so there is never a dull moment. If you stand still, you easily go backwards because people never stop changing. I love that dynamism and the opportunity to create market leading stores that capture emerging cultures and trends.
What aspects do you find most challenging? Retail keeps challenging us, but that dynamism is also what inspires us to innovate and change to the needs of the modern shopper. We continue to adapt our business model to remain relevant and market leading, which requires not just physical changes to layouts and design, but the management of margins and sales to remain viable.
What do you love most about your local area and community? Have you always lived on the Sunshine Coast? Oh my! We live in the most magnificent region in the world surrounded by natural beauty, beaches and glorious hinterland; a burgeoning food and agribusiness sector; a casual relaxed lifestyle; great climate and fresh air. We have lived here for 30 years and would not want to live anywhere else. The Sunshine Coast is unique in many ways, people feel fortunate to live here, enjoying the lifestyle and beauty it offers so they tend to be more collaborative, supportive and parochial in a good way.
How long have you stocked Lenard’s? We have stocked Lenard’s products in our stores for as long as I can remember. I believe we gained greater access to the products when the brand moved away from the exclusive standalone franchise model. Offering our customers this value-add line at the time of availability brought some excitement to our delis and meat offer.
Do you stock the Lenard’s deli range, meatcase range or both? We range the Lenard’s deli and meatcase lines. Where possible, we do a block display of Lenard’s products in the meat section to enhance brand presence and provide customers with a broad selection. Strudels are popular when sold through the hot box for an easy snack.
Which Lenard’s products do you stock? We range everything from Burritos and Enchiladas, to Schnitzels, Sausages and Kievs, across deli serviced and fresh meat.
What made you decide to stock Lenard’s? The decision made to stock Lenard’s was made many years ago, however each store currently stocks most lines, and our in-store butchers maintain the range to complement their fresh meat.
What is your favourite aspect of the support, ie marketing and sales support offered by the Lenard’s team? The lines are ordered through Metcash and the product is well known to our customers, so sells through well.
What do you and your customers love most about Lenard’s products? Lenard’s provides a quick, tasty, easy and convenient meal solution from this trusted brand. Kids love the sausages and Lenny Pops, so we have happy Mums and happy customers!
Why do you think Lenard’s products are so popular and have endured for so many years? The Lenard’s brand is trusted, well recognised, and loved by customers. Consistency stands brands such as Lenard’s in good stead with some good old favourites that our customers love coming back for.
Which Lenard’s products are most popular at White’s IGA, and why? Mild Mexican Chicken Enchiladas and Chicken Kievs. They’re yummy!
Which is your favourite Lenard’s product, and what do you usually serve as sides? I love the Kievs myself personally. (Chicken Kevin) accompanied by a fresh salad sourced from local farms.
Find out more about White’s Grocers at – www.whitesgrocers.com.au
*Some products and flavours may not be available in all stores. By selecting your local store only products currently available at that store will be displayed.