Jerry MacLachlan, interim store manager at Belmont Sobeys, was born and raised in Clareview. He got his start in the grocery business while attending Eastglen Composite High School. He worked for Cliff’s IGA. The store was a social hub of the community, and its owner Cliff treated everyone with dignity and respect. He instilled these values in his employees, including Jerry.
Jerry took these lessons with him when he left Cliff’s IGA to work at the IGA in Clareview. People he knew would recognize him instantly. It was important to continue what Cliff had taught him about giving back to his community.
When Jerry started working at Belmont Sobeys, he didn’t have to look long to find a new mentor. Store manager Don Barnhouse loaded his minivan with juice boxes to take to neighbourhood schools. Jerry’s strong connections to the schools he attended let him continue what Don started.
Jerry attended Kirkness Elementary, Belmont Elementary, Steele Heights School, and John D. Bracco, and he helps these schools when he can. He and his Sobeys team supply Homesteader School with bread and jam. A wheeled cart known as the toaster trolley goes room to room, and a staff member asks which of the students needs toast for breakfast. After Halloween, school administration encourages students to trade candy for yogurt and fruit, again provided by Belmont Sobeys.
Caring for others and supporting them is truly who Jerry is. For him, meeting people and supporting them is fun. It’s his passion. It’s also the reason he supports Communities United (CU) and especially CU’s youth engagement strategy. Jerry agreed to conduct mock interviews with young people from our northeast neighbourhoods. He then met with a small number of candidates. They impressed him so much that he hired one as a courtesy clerk and the other as a cashier.
Belmont Sobeys plays a key role in connecting people in the neighbourhood and helping to improve their lives. Employees approach tasks as a team to achieve results which benefit the local community. Being highly engaged and invested helps them celebrate their accomplishments together. Jerry is proud of his community, his role at Sobeys and his team’s ability to give back to the neighbourhoods he loves.