The Peoples' Share Collective
How it all began...
In 1978, a progressive group of young people, motivated to bring about a healthy and conscious work place came together to form a Natural Foods Workers Co-Op. That co-op began by importing grains and nuts to make granola for country fairs, and soon evolved into Rising Star Natural Foods Bakery; a vegetarian café in downtown Victoria and ultimately PSC Natural Foods, our distribution center. During the 80’s and 90’s, natural and organic foods continued to gain acceptance, pushed by the consumer and primarily sold in natural food stores. By the millennium, most grocery stores were now on board, wanting to be part of the growing healthy foods and environmental movement. In 2001, another similar minded, former Co-operative from Vancouver, Horizon Distributors, partnered with PSC Natural Foods. Today PSC continues to prosper as Vancouver Island’s leading distributor of natural and organic grocery and household products for the most part utilizing our own fleet. We are known for our dedication to our customers, our personalized account service and our logistical excellence. PSC has the proven ability to execute customized programs to meet our varied clientele needs, and as such, PSC is the Natural foods supplier of choice to grocery chains, independents, Natural food stores, pharmacies, buying clubs, restaurants, café’s, institutions, and other specialty retailers.
Vancouver Island is our home.
And we think it’s a very special place. At PSC we want the Island to remain a healthy, strong and prosperous community to work and live in. Our goal is simple: to be Vancouver Island’s first choice for natural and organic products, distribution, customer service, and employment opportunity. This vision will be realized while striving to reduce the impact our business has on the environment. Our relationships with the community are paramount to us. We’ve been a part of this growing industry since its early beginnings, and have developed and maintained long lasting and valuable, relationships with customers and suppliers alike.
Our Management Team
PSC’s management team has remained virtually intact since the acquisition. Our current three managers have a combined 87 years at PSC, and over 100 years of involvement in the food industry.
Purchasing, Procurement, Finance
Andrew Betts brings 20 years of natural foods and supplement retail experience to his position of Purchasing and Finance Manager. Working closely with the PSC management team, he oversees 12 dedicated professionals, managing procurement, new products and finance. He has a true passion for the natural foods industry and cherishes the relationships he has built with stakeholders in the industry for the past two decades. After graduating with a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration from the University of Prince Edward Island, Andrew moved to Vancouver Island in 1997. He fell in love with Victoria where he had the great privilege of starting his career in the natural foods industry.
Distribution, Warehousing Logistics
It was almost 40 years ago that John picked his first order on the shipping dock of a major poultry distribution plant. He was their Branch Distribution Supervisor when the company decided to close their Victoria operation. Taking the opportunity for a change there was a local natural foods distributor looking for a Head Shipper, and what a change it was! PSC Natural Foods was a whole new ball game in food distribution and consciousness. We were fortunate to gain John’s wealth of knowledge re logistical systems, and employment practices and standards. Once he landed John soon realized he’d found a work-home, and 24 years on, he’s still here.
Sales and Marketing
Donna arrived at PSC in the mid 1980’s after working in Natural foods retail, initially planning to subsidize her education by working part time in our finance department. Education became what PSC was all about for her and with her background in social and environmental activism; she quickly got involved in the “bigger picture” of what PSC was all about. She became involved in the co-op movement, served on the board of directors, and became an advocate for organic and environmentally conscious workplaces and practices. She went on to work in finance, purchasing, human resource management, and the sales department. In 1995 she was awarded the Thrifty Foods Vendor of the Year award for her work in Natural Foods. She now heads our Sales and Marketing division and is honoured to work with the knowledgeable folks this position exposes her to. Her greatest inspiration and joy at PSC is meeting vendors with a genuine caring for their products, for health and for the environment, and being able to do a small part in helping them get those products to consumers.
Don arrived at PSC Workers Co-op in May of 1981 to join three other members in running the distribution center. His previous experience in food and housing co-ops, as well as bookkeeping, made him a perfect fit for the young collective. Over the subsequent 10 years Don acquired his CGA certification and became the finance department Manager. In 1996 he was hired to fill the General Manager position. As GM for the last 23 years, he has seen sales grow to 8 times what they were, and employee base grow from 20+ staff to over 60. He maintains his passion for the Natural Food Industry as well as a strong commitment to make PSC a trusted place for customers, suppliers, and employees.