Kudrinko’s takes safety to the next level

Neil Kudrinko and staff member, Monique Byrne, accept a Public Access Defibrillator from David Dargie of St. John Ambulance Brigade of Leeds-Grenville and Lanark. Kudrinko’s in Westport is now one of the few retail spaces to have a defibrillator installed.

Neil Kudrinko and staff member, Monique Byrne, accept a Public Access Defibrillator from David Dargie of St. John Ambulance Brigade of Leeds-Grenville and Lanark. Kudrinko’s in Westport is now one of the few retail spaces to have a defibrillator installed.

Kudrinko’s Ltd. got a special delivery on Tuesday morning – one that could save lives.

A Public Access Defibrillator is now installed at the independent grocery store in Westport, Ont., from the St. John Ambulance Brigade of Leeds, Grenville and Lanark.

Owner Neil Kudrinko said the machine was an investment into the safety of the store for its customers, which makes sense when considering the sheer number of people who shop at the local business.

“We estimate that about 10,000 people per week walk through the store in the summer months,” Kudrinko said. “We’ve had a few instances where someone is in medical distress in the store, so we wanted to be proactive and make this extra commitment to our customers.”

The St. John Ambulance Brigade provides community service and training which improves the health, safety and quality of life for residents of the Brockville, Smith Falls, and 1000 Islands area. David Dargie, Caring for Our Community Capital Campaign Co-ordinator with the local St. John Ambulance Brigade, said that having a defibrillator at a retail space is exceptional. “That’s progressive,” he said. “Having a defibrillator on site at a grocery store is really cutting edge.”

Kudrinko said not only is the Public Access Defibrillator installed near to the cash area, but half of Kudrinko’s staff is now also trained in CPR and automatic electric defibrillator use.

Dargie said it’s that kind of dedication that could prove essential to saving lives. “As awareness grows in terms of how lifesaving they can be, more community organizations, municipalities and now retail spaces are jumping on board,” he said, noting that the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville is aiming to create a map which showcases the location of all defibrillators in the region. “We aim to make these as popular as fire extinguishers.”

He points to an incident earlier this year in Brockville, Ont. when a man was saved by use of a defibrillator after he collapsed at a local arena. Dargie said as people become cognizant of how effective the Public Access Defibrillators can be, the St. John Ambulance Brigade is seeing an increase in people getting equipped and trained for their use.

Distributing the defibrillators is only a small part of what the St. John Ambulance does in the community. Celebrating its 55th year in 2014, St. John Ambulance Brigade of Leeds, Grenville and Lanark offers a full range of first aid, CPR and even marine medical first responder services. In addition, it has served area residents through providing training, therapy dog services, youth services, and car seat safety services. Learn more at www.sjabrockville.org.

Kudrinko said he is glad to partner with the St. John Ambulance Brigade so the defibrillator can be in place at Kudrinko’s in Westport, as part of the store’s ongoing commitment to its customers. To find out more about the unique initiatives unfolding at Kudrinko’s, click here.

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Kudrinko’s proves it’s great to be green

Martha and Neil Kudrinko accept an Outstanding Independent, Greatness in Green Award from Progressive Grocer at the National Grocer's Association show in Las Vegas recently.

Martha and Neil Kudrinko accept an Outstanding Independent, Greatness in Green Award from Progressive Grocer at the National Grocer’s Association show in Las Vegas recently. (Photo courtesy of Progressive Grocer)

Kudrinko’s Ltd. has a lot to celebrate.

The Westport, Ont. family-owned, independent grocer was thrilled to recently receive a Greatness in Green, Outstanding Independent award from Progressive Grocer. The awards reception was held in Las Vegas last week, during the National Grocer’s Association show.

Owners Neil and Martha Kudrinko were on hand to accept the accolade which honoured grocer innovation or success in a specific area of business. The store was nominated for its environmental efforts and competed against entries throughout North America.

“We’re proud of this achievement as we strive to be a modern, energy efficient example of sound business practices,” said Neil Kudrinko. “The investments we’ve made are not only good for the environment, they ensure that our store will remain competitive as we deal with issues like rising energy costs.”

Even before earning the designation, Kudrinko’s was tracking its energy consumption and refrigerant losses, replacing inefficient compressors and HVAC systems, improving insulation of the building envelope, and retrofitting its freezers with LED lights. Outside of the store walls, Kudrinko’s has installed off-grid solar parking lot lighting, and incorporated ground water bioswales into its recent parking lot project.

Progressive Grocer noted that while each of the award winners may have differing approaches to how they go to market, what remains consistent is the extremely close ties they have to the communities they serve.

“Such close relationships give independent grocers insights into their shoppers that they can never glean from transaction or market data, regardless of how rich it is,” the magazine stated in an online article.

Kudrinko’s accomplishments were featured in the February edition of the magazine, with a profile detailing the strategies that contributed to its selection as a winner.

To find out more about Kudrinko’s green initiatives, click here.

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Kudrinko’s Continues to Cut Carbon

Kudrinko’s Ltd. president Neil Kudrinko couldn’t be happier with his latest Carbon Counted report results. “Since we began the transformation of our 1960s era grocery store into a modern energy efficient example of sound business practices I’ve always had a very specific goal in mind – getting our emissions under 100 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.”

crvEmissionsBySite-page-001This milestone was easily surpassed by the Westport grocer coming in at 92.55 tonnes for 2012. While electricity usage was up for the store over 2011, the carbon emissions per kilowatt hour on the Ontario grid was lower than previous years due increased green energy production and the continued phasing out of coal.

“Every business continues to look at new programs that we can run in our stores to increase sales. In 2012 we expanded out hot food sales and added more equipment in our kitchen,” said Kudrinko. “The challenge for store operators is to offset these new processes by reducing consumption in other areas. Last year’s improvements included retrofitting our freezers with LED lights.”

The store has been tracking its energy consumption and refrigerant losses using Carbon Counted since 2007 in conjunction with the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers’ Environmental Sustainability Initiative. Setting benchmarks and giving context to expense line items such as energy has allowed Kudrinko’s to be very strategic in making money saving investments.

“You can’t tackle a problem unless you have a means of measuring it,” said Kudrinko. “We’ll keep looking to lower our consumption numbers, add savings to the bottom line, and do something good for the environment.”

Click here to download Kudrinko`s 2012 Carbon Counted Report:  crvEmissionsBySite.

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Kudrinko’s featured in top US grocery trade publication

We’re pleased to share the feature article from December’s Progressive Grocer Independent issue highlighting the efforts that we have made as a company to deliver a top quality grocery operation. Martha and I are proud of the store that we offer to Westport and the Rideau Lakes and we continue to invest in our business for the benefit of our community. Click on the cover to view the article, it will download as a PDF file.

PGI 1212 1 Coverv4 JD-page-001

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Shopping for food is a community building act: Sam Mogannam at TEDxPresidio

If the grocery industry in the United States has a figure that is worthy of term “rock star”, in my estimation that person is Sam Mogannam. Sam shares a passion for food which is hard to find and he’s used that passion to not only build an exceptional grocery business, he’s also used that passion to rebuild a community in the process.  Check out this great video presentation of Sam’s talk at TedxPresidio.

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The Greening of Grocers

Check out my recent blog post on Canadian Grocer magazine’s website.

The Greening of Grocers

Neil Kudrinko  |  September 25, 2012

Last Thursday, September 20, grocery industry professionals gathered in Toronto forCanadian Grocer’s Commitment to Sustainability conference, proclaiming sustainability has moved beyond the carbon footprint of store operations and now must also consider broader implications of procurement decisions.

For those who skipped this conference fearing that it would be a tree-hugging, granola-crunching, Birkenstock-wearing love in, throw your stereotypes aside.

Sustainability is increasingly becoming the language of business.

Resource scarcity is leading to resource efficiency and with those changes businesses increasingly have to adjust their practices in order to ensure profitability in a changing business environment.

David Smith, VP of sustainability at Sobeys; Bob Chant senior VP, corporate affairs and communication at Loblaw; and John Coyne, VP legal and external affairs with Unilever all presented a vision of our industry that incorporates a different set of standards than we have employed in the past.

Smith began his segment with a picture of four earths.

His message being that demographic changes and an increasingly middle-class global population would continue to place pressures on the food industry.

With 80 per cent of the world population projected to be middle-class by 2030, four earths would be needed to support current consumption patterns, based on present practices.

The challenge: increase food production by 50 per cent, while addressing a waste factor of 40 per cent, and do so without further impacting the environment.

Bob Chant made it clear that sustainability is also on the minds of decision makers at Loblaw.

Canada’s largest grocer is zeroing in on areas with the most impact and focusing on consumers.

Chant shed some light on the mindset of consumers point out that most consumers expect price parity with traditional products and that sustainability is mostly viewed as a value add, not a chargeable commodity. With this in mind, Chant added, “Voluntarism cannot crack where we need to be.”

Perhaps the most poignant question of the day came from panelist John Coyne. In addressing Chant point on voluntarism, Coyne asked, “How do we remove the dirty discount?”

The economy must change in order to deal with shifting landscapes.

Finite resources are going to become more expensive and governments will continue to feel pressure to deal with the effects of environmental degradation caused by the effects of an increasingly affluent world population.

At some point governments will have to address resource consumption with some type of regulation or tax scheme to address problems such as carbon emissions and water use.

In the meantime, these three companies seem intent on addressing the issues before governments mandate change.

Following the panel discussion I asked John Coyne what message he had for companies that are either apathetic or dismissive to his call for change. His response: “I’ve got four words for them; listen; learn; ask us.”

Sobeys, Loblaw, and Unilever for their part aren’t viewing sustainability as a matter of competitive advantage as much as they are committed to changing the systemic problems of an inefficient, outdated industry model based on plentiful, inexpensive resources.

If you’re not considering how your business will function in this new economy, you’re likely to be left behind.

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North Leeds Minor Hockey

Kudrinko’s is proud to announce that we have partnered with North Leeds Minor hockey to bring quality goaltending instruction to local youth through Gold in the Net of Brockville. Our company has contributed $1000 towards this program that will see instructors work with the association’s goalies once a month throughout the hockey season.

North Leeds Minor Hockey and the Westport Figure Skating Club are important fixtures of our community. Their programs are essential to the operation of our village’s community centre, as well as bringing families from around the region to Westport where they not only participate in sporting activities but also contribute to our local economy with their shopping dollars.

Neil, Patrick and Kyle Kudrinko present NLMH fundraising chair Rachel Knapp with a cheque for $1000 towards the Associations goaltending clinics.

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