Western Foods director Laura Lum and her brother

Western Foods turns 40

Business started with a small corner store in Esquimalt that eventually grew into a supermarket on Goldstream Ave.

Western Foods has kept it all in the family for 40 years.

Starting off with a small corner store in Esquimalt that eventually grew into a supermarket on Goldstream Ave., founder Charlie Low and his family celebrate Western Foods’ 40 years in the Western Communities with festivities marking the multi-generational family business run by Low’s children today.

“It all started with my parents opening and founding this store back in 1974,” said Low’s daughter, and current Western Foods managing director, Laura Lum. “It was farmland and they had the opportunity to open up the store and they went for it.”

Lum has been in the business herself for 20 years, it was her first job and she has worked in pretty much every department of the store from cashier, to the meat department to management, giving her an opportunity to learn from her father in the family business she is proud to be involved with today.

“It was great, he was my mentor and he was always in retail so he had that knack for knowing what people wanted and giving them the best value for the money,” she said. “Everything fresh and always giving back to the community, he knew all the customers.”

Western Foods boasts two locations today, the second opening in Sooke in 1995, and combine to employ more than 100 staff and more than 30,000 square-feet between the two supermarkets.

Lum said the trick to their success has been to keep the business family-oriented, by treating both their employees and their customers like family.

“I think that’s the most important for us,” she said. “We have lots of staff here that have been with us for 20 years. I think that’s key, we treat everybody like a family.”

Lum’s younger brother Ed Lowe manages the Sooke location and has seen the business go from the simple hand-written paperwork of decades ago, to modern scanning and checkout.

While methods have changed over four decades, he said their philosophies and principals haven’t.

“(I am) proud, happy and gracious we are still around, being the only grocery store in the Western Communities to have that history with the same owners,” Low said.

“It’s amazing what my parents did immigrating to Canada and starting a small grocery store in Esquimalt to having a great community business employing a lot of people.”

Lum said that pride is a big part of what they bring to the store.

“We are just so happy we have been in the community for 40 years and so happy for the support from the community,” Lum said. “ We hope to be here for another 40.”

The Western Foods 40th anniversary festivities are at the Goldstream location May 24 from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The event will include the Belmont secondary school marching band, free cake, clowns, face painting and a visit from Langford mayor and council.

Just Posted

Unruly passenger forces Victoria-bound flight to divert to Calgary

Police say charges are pending against a woman in her 40s

RECALL: Salmon Village Salmon Nuggets

Customers warned not to eat product due to possible Listeria contamination

Victoria invited to get a closer look at Sunday’s lunar eclipse

Special event allows public to view the moon through UVic telescopes

Vancouver Island couple fights for their lives together

Richard Stuart needs a kidney, his wife Tracy has been diagnosed with cancer

Victoria Whisky Festival kicks off this weekend

Whisky-lovers flock to Hotel Grand Pacific for weekend events and tastings

Fashion Fridays: Inspirational gym outfits

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Vancouver Island conservancy group calls for government to shut down Georgia Strait herring roe fishery

DFO says extensive research is done annually before setting a maximum harvest rate

POLL: Should people have to license their cats?

The Victoria Natural History Society has sent letters to 13 municipalities in… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

High court ruling allows long-term expats to vote in byelections across Canada

Supreme Court decision enfranchised an estimated one million or more Canadian expats to be able to vote

B.C. woman posts to Facebook after she and nephew reported missing for days

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

Company issues lifetime ban after man jumps from cruise ship

Nick Naydev posted the video last week showing him standing on the balcony of the Symphony of the Seas

The debate over how to teach math in B.C.

Tutoring businesses growing with concerns

Inflation rises as higher airfares, veggie prices offset cheaper gas

Statistics Canada says inflation accelerated to two per cent in December

Most Read