WESTPORT, November 9, 2011 – Canadian Grocer Magazine has named Kudrinko’s president Neil Kudrinko one of eight finalists in its inaugural Generation NEXT Awards to be presented November 28th in conjunction with the Food Industry Association of Canada’s Golden Pencil Awards. Two NEXT awards will be presented, one for the retail side of the grocery business and one for the supplier side of the industry. NEXT is an acronym for New Exciting Thinkers. Recipients must be under 40 years of age, and have demonstrated innovation, leadership and a commitment to the grocery industry.
“I am honoured to have been selected as a finalist for the NEXT awards. Our company has made a serious commitment to improving the food industry through our operations, our procurement and our corporate social responsibility,” says Kudrinko.
Under Kudrinko’s leadership, the Westport grocery business has evolved from a franchise store to a true independent with a strong focus on improving customers’ shopping experiences through better product choices.
“We are continuously looking to provide high quality products at reasonable prices. Our store views customers as clients, meaning that we aren’t simply selling products, we’re working with shoppers to deliver the products they need to achieve better, healthier lifestyles,” says Kudrinko.
In addition to a strong consumer-centric culture, Kudrinko has made significant investments in the 1960s era store, first purchased by his parents in 1990. The over half-million dollar retrofit completed in 2009 has yielded significant operational savings and has contributed to an overall reduction in greenhouse gas emission of greater than 40 percent.
“One thing that gave me a great deal of credibility when I ran as a Green Party candidate in the 2010 byelection in Leeds-Grenville was that I had demonstrated through my own business that making investments in sustainability leads to more competitive organizations. I’m proud to share my successes in hopes that other businesses will make similar investments,” says Kudrinko.
Kudrinko has also gained a strong reputation for his support of local producers. He has addressed the provincial AGM of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, as well as several of their local chapters. He is a regular blogger on the Independent Grocer Network, and has had a number of columns published in a major grocery industry trade publication.
Kudrinko was nominated by Ottawa grocer Francois Bouchard, former chair of the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers. Finalists were chosen by the editorial team at Canadian Grocer Magazine.
For more information contact:
Neil Kudrinko, 613-273-2130