We believe we have the most incredible lineup of vendors participating at the 2013 Expo. In fact, we’re so proud of them, we want everyone to know more about who they are and how their business fits in to the Expo’s passion for seeing Ottawa the healthiest city in Canada. We recently sent our vendors a list of four questions. Between now and the Expo, we will be highlighting some of these amazing vendors. Watch our blog every Tuesday & Saturday morning for another vendor spotlight.
WHO ARE YOU?
We are Robert and Carey Assaf, brothers and proud owners of Kardish Health Food Centre. Both born and raised in Ottawa we are passionate about the Health and Wellness Industry as this was the family business for us growing up. Both of us are in our early 30’s however our combined experience gives us over 30 years in the industry. We have enjoyed growing the business considerably in recent years and forging a strong leadership team. We feel that we have surrounded ourselves with a great group of customer focused team members who bring a variety of different skills to our company. We both enjoy spending time with our families even if work is the main topic of conversation.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN THE BUSINESS?
My brother and I have been working alongside my Dad since we were 13 years old, In 2005 my father and I purchased the franchise from the Kardish Family (The company founders), while my brother purchased the Southgate location. In 2010 my father retired from the business and my brother, Carey, and I formed an equal partnership and have been working side-by-side ever since!
WHAT IS YOUR BUSINESS ALL ABOUT?
With six locations across the city of Ottawa, Kardish is now the largest health food chain in the area. As the Natural Health Product Industry continues to evolve, Kardish has evolved with it. No longer just a “bulk food” store; we are known across Ottawa for our clean, well merchandised stores, wide selection of specialty health foods; gluten free products; health and beauty aids and quality natural health supplements.
What makes us stand out is our dedication to our customers and to our employees.
We offer our customers:
- A generous rewards program and wildly popular customer appreciation days – our way of thanking all of our best customers
- A consistent companywide in store sampling program
- An engaging Facebook page with regular contests, promotions, recipes and health product information.
- Regular free in store educational seminars and supplier partnered consumer webinars.
We know none of this would be possible without our dedicated staff members, and our way of giving back to them includes:
- A dynamic and growing company that promotes from within
- Monthly in class paid training with industry leaders and experts
- Continuous In store mentoring by an experienced Management team
- Generous Employee discount
- A great team working environment
- Consistent scheduling
- Performance and salary reviews every six months
Our Mission Statement is: to offer our community a gateway to wellness by being a progressive leader in our industry; through fostering employee growth and our dedication to exceptional customer care.
At our core, we want to be known as “great people who care”. We are a family company who cherishes the relationships we have with our team members, suppliers, industry, customers, and our larger community. For that reason, we make a commitment to the continued investment in these relationships through the following core values:
Discerning Product Selection – We carry high quality national brands as well as local companies with unique trending products. We continue to stock the highest quality bulk food items. For our grocery and supplement lines, we remain current and stay on top of trends to meet our customer’s needs today. Our objective with product selection is to stock alternatives to mainstream household name brands, with designations such as Gluten Free, Organic, Fair Trade, Vegan and more. Our goal is to offer new customers to our industry a comfortable transition from their grocery and drug stores to our stores, while continuing to provide our long-term customers with the quality and selection they expect. As a company, we are committed to evolving at the pace that our industry evolves and our product selection in all categories will continue to reflect this evolution.
Engage and satisfy our customers – We want to be known in our industry as top notch customer service advocates! We meet our customers wherever they are on their health journey and provide them the respect, service, information, and value they deserve. Our outstanding customer service is coupled with inviting store environments; competitive pricing, satisfaction guarantee on all of our products and opportunities for feedback into our store operations.
Investing in our team member’s excellence- We recognize our success is contingent upon the combined attitudes, skill sets, knowledge and talents of all of our team members. We endeavor to invest in all our Team Members in ways that will allow them to succeed to their highest potential. It is our desire to create and foster a spirit of continued learning, motivation, self-responsibility, accountability, dynamic systems and positive relationships within our members and working environments. We appreciate effort and reward results through incentives and promotion from within.
Caring for our community and our environment – We are a local, family owned company and we consider it an extreme privilege to be involved in and give back to our community. We involve ourselves in our community through sponsorship of various sporting events and community fundraisers and health fairs. We engage our community through our Kardish education evenings and sponsor events lead by leading health experts in the natural health field. Throughout all levels of our company we implement wise environmental practices to reduce our impact on our environment.
Creating successful partnerships with our suppliers- We will continue to foster positive relationships with our suppliers through clear communication of our expectations of them and understanding of our responsibilities to them. We expect and will offer integrity and respect in all business dealings. We are committed to honesty, timelines and clarity in communication with our suppliers and expect the same in return. We partner with our suppliers to make use of the resources they have available to educate, motivate and communicate the outstanding quality and benefits of our products to our employees and customers.
Modeling healthy lifestyles – Although every person is at a different stage along their health journey, as a company we encourage all our team members and leaders to include the values of moderation, balance, positive attitude, self care, and healthy choices as foundations to their daily living. We hire and invest in people who have shown interest and aptitude for this industry and as we engage our customers, it is important that we model what we represent and strive for excellence in these areas.
THE EXPO FOCUSES ON FOUR THEMES: BE FIT, EAT RIGHT, THINK WELL, GO GREE. WHICH OF THESE DOES YOUR BUSINESS INCORPORATE?
We would like to think that we incorporate all four of these themes.
BE FIT- We encourage our staff, and our customers to live a healthy lifestyle. Not only through nutrition but through regular exercise. We always recommend adding an exercise regime when discussing products, ailments, or concerns with customers.
EAT RIGHT- The majority of the products we stock are Organic, Gluten Free, Fair Trade, and Natural. We are a Health Food Store so eating right is our number one priority. We encourage all people (staff and customers alike) to eat the best way for their body. The products we carry act as a compliment to healthy eating, and we like to provide as much choice as possible for people to make the right food/supplement decisions for themselves.
THINK WELL- We strongly believe that in order to get the best from our bodies we also have to treat our minds well. One of our main focuses at Kardish is education. We offer extensive employee trainings and free seminars to our customers. We believe that if we can help people train their minds through education the body will follow.
GO GREEN- Recently, we sent two of our managers to a Eco Summit Seminar in Toronto. This helped us with ideas on how we can improve our business and make it more eco-friendly. Though still in the infant stages we have a lot of changes coming to our business operations in the new year!