Category - Interviews

Ep 148. Bob Phibbs, The Retail Doctor on the power of intention

In this interview I (Mark Latimer), have the opportunity to talk to Bob Phibbs, the Retail Doctor. Bob is an American retail expert, entrepreneur, speaker, author and Marketing and Branding expert. He is the retail sales trainer of choice for some of the largest premium consumer retail brands.

He is the author of The Retail Doctor’s Guide to Growing Your Business (Wiley, 2010) and You Can Compete: Double Sales Without Discounting (Greenleaf, 2003.)

Phibbs is a contributor for American Express’s “Open Forum,” MasterCard Business network,a RetailWire Brain Trust panelist and has performed business makeovers for the Los Angeles Times.

Phibbs has also appeared on Fox News, PBS and various other networks. Bob’s programs and his work have been featured in Entrepreneur , the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

He is a speaker on the subject of sales, marketing and customer experience at corporations and organizations both in the United States and internationally.

For more information about Bob Phibbs visit…

This is an Earl Nightingale video (The Strangest Secret) we reference in the interview. During tough times Bob says he listened to it 20 times a day. Enjoy.

Ep 147. Susan Niczowski, President at Summer Fresh on keeping it fresh

In this interview I (Mark Latimer) have a chance to learn from Susan Niczowski and listen to her incredible story. I had a lot of fun in this interview and I want to thank Susan again for making the time to share her insights.

About Summer Fresh

Fresh and flavourful, healthy and nutritious gourmet dips and appetizers, salads and chef prepared foods for a busy lifestyle is what Summer Fresh Salads is all about. As a leading North American supplier of prepared foods to the retail and food service sectors including supermarkets, restaurants, retail stores, caterers and more, our company offers a full range of over thousands of product recipes in addition to private label food products many of which are kosher and organically certified.

Like fashion, food follows seasonal trends. We, at Summer Fresh, believe in this so strongly that we trademarked the phrase Food is Fashion(TM). Essentially, it means that while the staples like meat and potatoes stay the same, the foods that you use to accessorize this dish change with the seasons like fashion. Whatever the season, you may be confident that Summer Fresh is setting trends with many new and exciting product introductions with every quarter. Summer Fresh Salads is food for real life, prepared ready to be served, so that you and your customers can enjoy doing the things you love most – whatever that may be.

In 1991, I together with my mom, identified a need in the market place to make fresh, specialty gourmet salads available in deli supermarkets. Why should gourmet salads be enjoyed only when dining at fine restaurants or when family get togethers call for my aunt Melody’s famous mouth watering potato salad?

Only after a few short weeks, my mom and I found a 3,000 square foot federally inspected facility. Production quickly began. At present, our family run operation occupies a 63,000 square foot state of the art manufacturing facility that is both federally inspected and HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) recognized which ensures problems are prevented in advance as opposed to rectified after the fact. Our operation is also kosher and organically certified and is equipped with the most modern environmental control systems and manufacturing equipment available in today’s food manufacturing industry including metal detectors, rare earth magnets and ultraviolet light technology.

With our fully equipped microbiologist operated in-house laboratory, R&D facilities, strong quality control program and technical team, the highest quality freshness, consistency and nutrition are always guaranteed. And with the ‘Just in Time’ production and distribution system that we adopt for our refrigerated fresh food products, all our products are made to order ensuring that orders are processed, produced and delivered immediately. Indeed, Summer Fresh is Fresh!(TM)

Over the years, many things have changed for Summer Fresh Salads. But, the one constant is the level of involvement from our family and entire staff. With over 100 full time employees, Summer Fresh Salads’ professional customer service representatives are trained to make the deli more profitable. They facilitate the deli manager’s task by taking customer orders, providing product information, supplying point of sale material and offering advice on how to merchandise effectively. In addition, they prepare deli programs specifically designed for your needs and will train staff which all serve to promote deli sales. At Summer Fresh Salads, we are all dedicated to helping you and your customers get the best quality, and it shows.

From creating tantalizing new recipes from around the world to fulfilling our orders, we are involved in every step to assure the highest quality and freshness. Our attention to every detail results in a product people demand when life demands more of people. Summer Fresh Salads makes gourmet dining easy to serve, fun to entertain and healthy to eat! For more information take the time to browse through the web site or ring us at (905) 856-8816 or toll free at 1-877-4-salads. We love what we do and appreciate your interest and support.

For more information visit

Connect with Summer Fresh on Social Media

Ep 146. Peter and Chris Neal, Founders of Neal Brothers Foods on working together

Get the book here…

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Full Interview

Let’s first start by introducing ourselves. We are Peter and Chris Neal.

In 1988, we started making croutons out of our mom’s Aurora, ON kitchen. Under the name Croutons Croûtons , these crunchy bits of delicious became a huge hit and soon enough, grew out of the home.

The decision soon came to put 100% of our focus into distribution which paved the way to offering more products under the Neal Brothers name.

Soon after came the distribution of others brands starting with Chatam Village Croutons. We continued (and still continue) searching all over and seeking out unique food products to bring to store shelves.

We will always hold true to our humble beginnings by offering the freshest ingredients in our foods. Where we can, we offer products made from organic ingredients to help sustain our environment and keep us healthy and chemical free. We also strongly believe in the Fair Trade movement and the positive impact it has on millions of poor farmers around the world. We distribute many Fair Trade items such as Kicking Horse coffee and TCHO chocolate.

We are proud of the company we have built and have fun building it with the quality employees who work with us, the retailers who partner with us, and the consumers who support us! is brought to you by | Global Leaders in Boutique IT Consulting | EDI B2B eCommerce

Ep 145. Paul Blake, President of Finica Foods Specialties on Disruption

Our Mission
• To seek out manufacturers who are actively interested in developing the Specialty Cheese and Fine Foods market in Canada.
• To add value to the Industry and the Organizations with whom we do business.
• To supply High Quality Cheeses to the marketplace that will satisfy the consumer.

Company Profile

Finica Food Specialties Limited, an importer and distributor of specialty artisan cheese and gourmet food items from around the world. We have been in operation since 1968.

Our core success has been built around the specialty cheese market. We started as the exclusive Importer for Finland branded cheeses. We have since expanded our line to include cheeses from Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Wales and the United States. We Pride ourselves in developing Canadian manufacturers’ products into success stories. An example is the birth 16 years ago of Celebrity International Goat Cheeses from Lindsay Ontario. We have garnered awards all over North America for our products, and most recently in 2014, we placed first in both the Best Sheep’s Milk and Best Goat’s Milk category, for our Tania Sheep’s Milk Cheese and Lindsay Bandaged Cheddar, respectively.

In July 1995, Finica joined the Gellert Global Group of companies (, which includes Atalanta Corporation (, a leading and driving force in the food importing and international trading business. Atalanta has established itself in three continents with agents in almost every major commerce centre in the world. Today, Finica Foods Specialties Limited operates as a sister company of Atalanta. We continue to concentrate on our experience in the importing of cheese, meats and Specialty Food Market with a clear mandate to represent our suppliers through aggressive category management.

Our customer base includes Retail Chain and Independents and Foodservice. Our Distribution network is made up of Specialty Cheese and Food Distributors across Canada.

Some of the Unique Cheese brands we represent are Finlandia, Zerto, BelGioioso, Beemster, Celebrity International, Colliers Powerful Welsh Cheddar, Bergader, Sartori and Snowdonia. Some Specialty Food & Meat brands include Dalmatia Fig Spreads, Menu, 34 Degree’s, Volpi, Almondina, Les Trois Petit Couchons, Pairrop, and Ortiz.

Finica Food Specialties Limited, is a member of the Canadian Food and Restaurant Association, American and Canadian Cheese Societies and is also an executive member of the International Cheese Council of Canada. is brought to you by | Global Leaders in Boutique IT Consulting | EDI B2B eCommerce

Ep 144. Kori and Matt, Founders of Earth Group on Feeding 1 million people

At The Earth Group, we offer consumers the chance to make a tangible difference in the lives of people who need it most. We offer products that cost the same, taste even better and are produced responsibly, but at the end of the day give back to those who need our help most.

It is The Earth Group’s mandate to give 100% of our net profits to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), with a commitment to support their global fight against hunger and to help them provide 250,000 school meals annually.

We have partnered with the WFP to ensure the money raised through the sale of Earth products directly benefits those who need it most. WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Each year, on average, WFP feeds more than 90 million people in 80 countries.

The best way to predict the future is to invent it.
-inventor, Alan Kay

Ep 143. Rolster Taylor on the success of Grocery Innovations Canada 2015

The Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers (CFIG) is a non-profit trade association founded in 1962 which continues to be a collaborative community, equipping and enabling independent, franchised and specialty grocers for sustainable success. We act as a strong and united voice for over 4000 independent grocery retailers, across Canada, providing programs for operational excellence and fostering solid relationships among retailers and suppliers.

Media inquiries please contact Nancy Kwon, Director, communications & marketing 416.492.2311 x225 or [email protected]

CFIG is the only retail association in Canada that advocates to all three levels of government, solely on behalf of retail grocers. On many issues, CFIG has been able to influence government decisions to achieve better results for our members, to head off measures that would have a negative impact on your business. CFIG has been able to achieve victories in areas such as Interac, Nutritional Labelling, Quota Regulations, Sale of Over-the-Counter Cough & Cold Remedies, and Food Safety that have provided members with a direct benefit.

CFIG’s commitment to its members is to ensure that the needs of the independent are top of mind with manufacturers and suppliers, and to provide valuable input into industry policy. Through CFIG’s representatives, we can forward specific concerns and comments directly to the manufacturer to ensure both parties continue to prosper in an ever-changing marketplace.

A membership with The Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers (CFIG) provides an excellent vehicle for those in the food industry to keep informed about the industry, stay connected, and support the independent grocery channel – a channel representing significant economic activity; over 71.3 billion dollars in sales in 2006. (ACNielsen, State of the Industry Report 2006). is brought to you by | Global Leaders in Boutique IT Consulting | EDI B2B eCommerce

Ep 142. James Whitaker of Wabi Sabi on blossoming tea

We don’t have every tea but what we have is very the best.

Our teas are the highest quality.
Imported directly from the producer.
Blended in Canada.

Wabi Sabi Tea Company reminds you that tea is the opportunity to take a moment for yourself.
We value the most meaningful experiences; and the most thoughtful products.

Wabi Sabi is an evolution that takes time and patience.
As we evolve we hope to hear from you about your Wabi Sabi moments so we can share them with everyone. is brought to you by | Global Leaders in Boutique IT Consulting | EDI B2B eCommerce

Ep 141. Becky Smollett of From Farm To Table on Pop Fusion Popcorn

At Farm To Table Foods, we pride ourselves on seeking out the purest ingredients available. That`s why we choose Ontario corn.
Our growers adhere to the following principles;

Conserve energy and cut greenhouse gases.
Protect and enhance wildlife habitats.
Employ sustainable production systems.
Ensure safe and fair conditions for farm workers.
And because we work closely with the corn growers, we know exactly what is being put into our products.

And what isn’t … no pesticides and no GMOs!

Remember, when you choose a Farm To Table Foods – Canada product, you’re choosing quality.

Becky Smollett
Founder is brought to you by | Global Leaders in Boutique IT Consulting | EDI B2B eCommerce

Ep 140. Simon of Brittles-N-More on the love of fudge

Brittles ‘n More is one of Canada’s largest manufacturers of fudge and candy products; we sell to wholesale and retail customers anywhere in Canada. To become a retailer of our products please contact us at our head office in Waterloo Ontario.

The Olde Tyme Art of Candymaking® is kept alive at Brittles ‘n More where nothing but all natural fresh ingredients are used to make our gourmet brittles, fudge and candies.
The Olde Tyme Art of Candymaking
Our original recipes and time honoured methods assure you of quality and taste unsurpassed.
Smell the sweet aromas of confections emanating from our copper kettles. Tempt your taste buds with our mouth-watering, melt-in-your-mouth samples. is brought to you by | Global Leaders in Boutique IT Consulting | EDI B2B eCommerce

Ep 139. Eric of Underdog Brewhouse on the legend and the brand

Underdog – (Un-der-Dog):
“A competitor thought to have little chance of winning a fight or contest.”
Underdog’s Brewhouse was founded by brothers Jeff and Eric in 2014, based on the core philosophy that a true underdog can overcome any challenge put before them, no matter the size or complexity. In the Canadian beer world, Underdog’s Brewhouse may appear to be at a disadvantage, going up against the multinational beer conglomerates with their thousands of employees and tens of millions in advertising dollars. However, what sets Underdog’s Brewhouse apart is a superior full-flavoured product, excellent customer service and a tidal wave of energy to do our part in the “Better Beer Revolution”.

Embracing the spirit of the Underdog, we’re bringing local artisanal beer to Durham, Ontario. Durham region as a whole, and our hometown of Oshawa, has always been viewed as the “Underdog” to its nearby big brother, Toronto. Tired of living in the shadows of the GTA, we felt it was high time that Underdog’s Brewhouse brought craft beer to our under-estimated but always over-delivering town. Underdog’s wants to make Oshawa the new capital for great locally brewed beer!

We are committed to pushing the boundaries of good beer in Ontario and across the country as we strive to be a leading player in the craft beer revival, or as we like to call it: “the Better Beer Revolution.”

We’re going to see the Davids beat the Goliaths in the industry, and create some awesome beer along the way!

Cheers! is brought to you by | Global Leaders in Boutique IT Consulting | EDI B2B eCommerce