In this episode, Elora Fergus Podcast host Ryan Joyce chats with the owner of the Fergus FreshCo, Patrick Anderson. We chat about the toilet paper shortage, possible changes to the grocery industry has shopping habits returned and much more. Listen Now!
On this episode with Patrick Anderson from Fergus FreshCo
Patrick talks about the local toilet paper shortage
Has shopping habits returned in Centre Wellington?
What impacts might we see on the store and it's layout
Will Fergus FreshCo return to 24 hours?
The things you need to know about purchasing alcohol
What Patrick is most looking forward to after COVID impacts
Has Patrick worn a kilt, eaten haggis or played a bagpipe?
Listen below to Elora Fergus Podcast Episode with Fergus FreshCo owner Patrick Anderson
"Has Elora & Fergus' shopping habits returned? "
Audio Transcript with Patrick Anderson
Ryan Joyce: Thank you. Oh my gosh. I can't imagine honestly your life right now, your big move just happened with Frescho and boom, all of a sudden this whole pain damage happens. Before we get into any of the heavy stuff. I got up, I got to ask you because you're the only person I think that Patrick Anderson: could give me a good answer on this. Isn't cereal just soup? How many days? It was just a month before the pandemic really got her feet wet and uh, I see like we just started to get it. I get her stride going, you know, or get used to the store. Then they, uh, just the, the new volume and then all of a sudden, boom. It's just like, uh, the first couple of weeks when Kobe was insane. I've never seen anything in 25 years of doing retail, just flying off the shelves. The panic buying in the first part was just a, it was insane. We, we, the first, the first week, the Thursday, Mmm. We came out of an ad for paper and we, it didn't do very well, so we were struggling 40 skids. Wow. I sold them all on Thursday by the time I by like six o'clock on Thursday like it was just, and that was before we knew what this was all how long was going to be and all that stuff. So looking back it would have put limits on it if I would have known. But it wasn't even that it was you were buying like four or five like it wasn't like they were buying like 12 or 13 it was just everybody ran in to grab toilet paper, which is hilarious because it doesn't really give you, Ryan Joyce: we're now at the point where the government is talking about certainly to reopen again. So has that subsided, like have, have people's buying habits returned to normal? Patrick Anderson: It's slowly starting to the last couple weeks has been slowly going back to normal anyways. Mmm. The biggest thing is people now are doing less shops, more buying more at a time. You know what I mean? You still get the people that come in every other day or whatever, but you can tell like the big families, they come in, the mother, father and like they just, they buy for a week or buy for two weeks and Ryan Joyce: right. Patrick Anderson: Uh, that's the biggest thing that I've noticed, so. Ryan Joyce: Right. And so when things, I mean we'll be following the government's guidelines and everything, but what do you foresee some of the changes that will impact longterm from Patrick Anderson: long term? I think you'll see just Mmm. Store's designed differently. Ryan Joyce: Yeah. Patrick Anderson: Because my store is not designed for COVID very well, very tight front end. So, you know, we have to manage that with a personal front all the time. Um, I don't think you'll see loose bulk anymore. I really think it's going to be packaged for now on. Um, that's my personal view, I think. Um, that makes a lot of sense. The way, even just the way the bathrooms are designed, just to like, we have a very tight back room, so it'd make it's, you know, 1% of the stuff off to the side, so. Bye. Mmm. Yeah. Just the layout of all retail spaces, I think there's going to change moving forward. Ryan Joyce: Yeah. If I feel we're, there's a lot to come though. We're still about to learn. We're very beginning of this. It appears, at least for what we're seeing on news and such. So, uh, Fergus has been, I hope, really supportive. I hope everyone has been, Patrick Anderson: Oh, we have a great community. There's a couple of people that, you know, uh, being a little difficult to, right. It's sort of understandable. But, uh, when you look at some of the other towns that some of the, uh, talk to some of the other franchisees and stuff like that and the things that they're going through, and I'm just, I can't even wrap my mind around it. Even one of my district operator came in to the store and he's like, everybody's following the lines and like, no one's pushing. No one's arguing. But some of the city stores are, they're fighting. Um, it's just, yeah, just, I don't wanna get too many stories, but just, no, of course, Ryan Joyce: if we do live in a great community. So thankfully it's, it's good to hear that side of it. Um, yeah, he's really encouraging. We really do are blessed to live here. When you first opened, before all this happened, you were the first 24 hour grocery store Patrick Anderson: in the area. Yeah. Ryan Joyce: For see that returning Patrick Anderson: not anytime soon, but uh, I think eventually it will go back. But yeah, it's just um, a lot of good feedback from the community, just like shift workers and you know, like the two to like the one o'clock to four o'clock in the morning is pretty quiet. People that want to get in before work or get an after work and you know, there's nothing open normally. So. Ryan Joyce: Yes. And you're, and it also opened up just as the whole alcohol policies changed and everything too. So what do people need to know about that? Cause like I myself don't drink often, so I don't know. What are the regulations and rules? What, what should people know that Patrick Anderson: for us, we're pretty much the same as a couple different rules for, um, for grocery stores. We can't carry a hard liquor, obviously nothing more than a six pack. Uh, it's just that way people still have, they still go to the group store, the liquor store, um, one of the different policies. So not only do we have to card if we feel the person's not a big age, but even if the person is of age, we still have to ask for a birth date. Okay. Some people don't appreciate, but I get it. But I didn't make the rule. Right. Um, but it's just, it's one of the ways that the government can, um, follow up and see that we're actually asking for ID if needed or whatever. So like if I've got a 75 year old man though, I'll be honest. Yeah. I told her I care if he gives me. Um, but we, we can't process the order investors at given, so. Ryan Joyce: Gotcha. I see. Now are you, obviously now, there's not a lot of time for culinary time, but are you yourself much of a cook? You too enjoy, Patrick Anderson: right. I do. I cook, actually. I probably do all our meals most of the time. So Ryan Joyce: you do. Oh great. Okay. So if you were to walk into your own store and grab a handful of things to make one dish, what would be your classic? Patrick Anderson: Oh, I have lots of classics. Uh, yeah. Yeah. Um, yeah, I've loved cooking since, uh, I've a young kid, so, um, I know I did stir fries. I love stir fries. Um, it wasn't always a good steak barbecue season now rates, so a lot more outside cooking, uh, Ryan Joyce: guilty pleasure the night usually. Oh yeah, absolutely. And avocados, you've got a time, those bad boys. Right. But we're getting to the good avocado season too. Yeah. Fergus native, Patrick Anderson: born and raised in Guelph, so really close. A lot, a lot of family and a Laura from my, my dad's my mom's side, so my grandmother's side. So, uh, the McManus clan, so if it says McManus, it probably relates to them somehow. So, uh, Ryan Joyce: Oh, that's actually a lots of history in the area. How did you go from, like, how did, how did you end up morning? Of course, you store essentially? Patrick Anderson: Uh, well I started at Xero back in 1994, so a couple of years ago, uh, in golf and then, uh, progressed through that and became an assistant manager. And one of our, uh, district operators, he left and went to Sobeys and, uh, he had an opening up in grieving Hearst actually, and asked me if I wanted to go up there. So I went up there, a beautiful area. Mmm. And it was like, Oh, well why did you leave your linear and Cod cottage country? And I'm like, well, I work 60 hours a week in the summertime. It's not like fun for me. And then the Fergus franchise came up for, um, so Beeson fresh cores, it's a sister company. Ryan Joyce: So yeah, Patrick Anderson: went in and I met with district operator, toured the store and put my hat in and I got it. Which is exciting. Um, cause I've always loved the area. Fergus Laura Ryan Joyce: growing up in Guam, you know, go to the Gore and shit. You're also a big supporter of the community. Yeah. Past president of the Fergus Lions Club what is the one thing you're sort of looking forward to once things return? Patrick Anderson: Uh, just the social piece. Just, uh, the, the sense of community and friendship and well, whatever I do, it's, uh, or this is the food bank, the, the Lions club, uh, the rugby club or whatever. Um, it's just this sense of fate. Like it's just one more family after another, like, Mmm. So that's why I love Fergus. Alora it's a just, yeah. It's such a great, yeah. Community. And, uh, I'm a social guy. I love hanging out with people. I talk a lot. So, um, Ryan Joyce: now everything's virtual. The virtual, it's not quite the same. Patrick Anderson: Got it together with a couple of guys and, you know, play poker online and had a zoom call at same time and stuff like that. So that piece, but yeah, there's a, there's something about the physical presence, right. You know what I mean? That'd be excited to get that. Or for families that are listening, what are some of the things that you're doing activities online with the family to, to occupy some of the time during stay home? Uh, for the kids. Um, well this, the schools have a program set up for them to do online, stuff like that. So that's pretty cool. But we do a FaceTime. Um, there's a party, uh, app, I can't remember the exact name, but the kids get on it and they, they talk to their cousins and stuff like that. And then even a couple of the mothers R, um, my son's grade one class, they do like a weekly call with the kids and they can kind of hang out and fortunately their attention span is really short. Right. So they, they say hi to each other, kind of in there, kind of running good. Even my daughters, they do Celtic dance in town and um, they've been doing virtual dance classes and Oh, great. Yeah. So that's pretty cool. Again, the attention span is a little difficult, especially when you're brother and sister running around playing around here. But, uh, yeah. Yeah, the weather's getting nicer, so get out of the yards. We have a trampoline for them and stuff like that. My in laws bought us years ago, so, yeah. Oh, that's fun. Well, I'll end with a quick, what's becoming a Scottish litmus test after? This is my third interview at this point and I, it's obvious how Scottish we are. So let me start with question one. Have you ever eaten haggis have? Yes. And did you enjoy it was okay. Have you ever worn a kilt? No. No. I think that's going to happen someday though. I fear the same. I have not either. And have you ever played a bagpipe? Uh, no. I have no music talent whatsoever either. No, me at all. Well, it's been super fun chatting. Patrick, what's on the dinner plans tonight? Have you got it already? No. It's the wife's job tonight. Tomorrow on closing the store. So she's in charge. And where's the best way people can follow the store? We have a Facebook page and then I figured exciting. I usually post to the community sites, so yeah. That's great. Thank you so much. Patrick. I appreciate your time. Have a great rest of the day.