CEO says Eat Your Veggies
WINNIPEG, MB – More than two decades ago, Larry McIntosh applied for a job at Peak of the Market.
Although he didn’t meet all the criteria, he ended up being interviewed by the board of directors. Standing out from the competition, he was offered the role of president and CEO that he has now held for over 23 years.
“I was fortunate that they felt I was a good fit and gave me an opportunity,” he said. “Although I lacked an agricultural background, they felt I certainly knew how to read a financial statement and how to work with fellow staff and customers. I had a positive attitude — which I think is what they were looking for more than anything else.”
Over the years, McIntosh has seen plenty of changes within the organization and the industry.
“We are much more technologically advanced at Peak and at the farms than we were 20 years ago. At Peak of the Market, we have state of the art potato and onion packing equipment with 14-foot high robotics! You can watch them for hours,” states McIntosh.
From both a retail and a consumer point of view, expectations are much higher than they were 20 years ago and that continues to raise the bar, he added.
“Our growers have grown more acres over the years which results in Peak selling more vegetables,” he said.
“Last year, we hit an all-time sales record for the number of pounds of Manitoba-grown vegetables we sold. We’re very proud of that and we want to continue building on that momentum.”
As he reflects on the past and looks towards the future, McIntosh continues to enjoy the work.
“Vegetables are good for you. There’s no debate about that. Whether we’re in a recession or we’re in good times, people still eat their vegetables,” he said.
“The growers are fantastic people to work for. They are forward thinkers and are always looking at ways to improve growing, whether it is a new variety of seed, drainage tiles, irrigation, et cetera. As well, I can’t say enough about my co-workers — they are great to work with. We are like one big family. It’s a great business to be in and we have fun.”
Taking pride in partnership, McIntosh cherishes the chance to work alongside his wife, Shelley, both on the job and off.
“Shelley and I are very fortunate to work for Peak of the Market. We are together 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and we both enjoy what we’re doing. It’s easy to get up in the morning and be enthusiastic about what we do,” McIntosh said. “When we’re not at work, Shelley and I like to go to Jets games when they are in town and go for long walks around the city in the summer. We also like spending time with various charities to help promote their events.”
There are so many wonderful organizations like JDRF and Variety, the Children’s Charity of Manitoba that do amazing work, McIntosh added.
“Shelley and I really care about people and try to help when we can. We have always tried to give, but being part of Peak of the Market instils the importance of this even more. The growers have been giving back to the community that’s supported us for the past 75 years — it’s just part of what they do,” he said.
“Our growers are committed to giving back to the community, whether that’s through Winnipeg Harvest or CancerCare Manitoba. That certainly aligns well with what Shelley and I also believe we should be doing for our community.”
– JENNIFER MCFEE, MyToba.ca