"I call the Canada team the 'Eh! Team'," says Bargreen Canada's General Manager, David Sanders. "We work really hard and have fun."
Sanders joined the Bargreen Canada team in 2013. During his five years at Riedel working as a Riedel Agent for Western Canada, Sanders established a relationship with one of his customers -
"I enjoyed working with a wide variety of restaurateurs, chefs and sommeliers," says Sanders. So, it was no surprise that when David Ellingson in September of 2013 asked Sanders to join the Canada team, he jumped at the opportunity.
Since then, Sanders and his team of sixteen have had the opportunity to take over the hospitality industry from Vancouver to the Prairies - Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan - to Toronto, and beyond.
"David has turned our branch from embers to flames," says Ashley Gallaher, Front Counter Manager and branch support. "We have grown tremendously with his guidance, and we haven't stopped since he came on board. Change and learning are a part of our company's core values, and David embraces them with a grin on his face. We work hard, and we laugh harder. It is never a dull moment with him."
Robin Toma, Operations Manager, says that David has also "brought better structure" to the branch, allowing for more success.
With such a small team and so many provinces to manage, the team has faced a few bumps in the road, though. "I guess you could say we’re the new kids on the block," says Sanders. "Canada’s a big country and in some markets we’re unknown. The daily battle is focusing on one customer at a time – working to the best of our abilities and helping them achieve their goals."
But the "Eh! Team" show no signs of slowing down any time soon thanks to Sanders. "I’m so excited about the opportunities opening up across Canada for Bargreen," says Sanders. "Every day is different. Some days I meet with business owners, other days I’m working the forklift in the warehouse. It doesn’t matter what needs to be done – we all pitch in. The great thing is that I can count on this team in Vancouver to back me up no matter what the challenge may be."
What do you enjoy most about being the General Manager for Bargreen Canada?
I really enjoy the people who work with me, and the people who we work with. They’re passionate and they care. Every day they amaze me with their caring. We also laugh a lot. We see the humor in some of the situations we’re faced with but at the end of the day we all have the same goal and we get the job done.
What has been your biggest success?
Bargreen won a contract to become the sole provider of kitchen equipment for the Department of National Defense in Canada. Our team and Adrian Tuck, Sales Representative, worked on that contract for over a year.
How do you measure success?
Being able to service our customer at the highest level – something they may not have encountered before. With the Department of National Defense contract, we sold them on the equipment but we won the business on the level of service we could provide.
From left to right: Devin Lannigan - Warehouse, Jayson Castro - A/R, David Sanders - GM, Mike Brooks - Contract Support, Paige Reinhard - Shipper/Receiver, Ashley Gallaher - Branch Support, Alesha Support - Front Counter.
What draws you to the restaurant and hospitality industry?
It’s an arena that offers so much variety. You meet so many different types of personalities – and they all have a multitude of problems that I can try and help solve. I love that.
What is the best advice you have ever received throughout your career and how do you apply this advice to your job everyday?
My brother Dana shared a philosophy with me one day. He said “Up until now … from now on.” It applies to every interaction you can have with your internal and external customers. Everyone you meet or speak with every day. In a nutshell what this means to me is the past is the past – the present is now, and our future path together can head in whatever direction we decide. It’s empowering.
What is the most inspiring client story you’ve recently experienced?
We have a customer, the Chef at Boulevard Restaurant at the Sutton Place Hotel. He is competing right now in Hungary against 20 chefs, 11 will qualify for the 2017 Bocuse d’Or in Lyon, France. It’s the most prestigious gastronomic competition in the world. He asked for some support from Bargreen, and we were able to help him out with the tools he needs to represent Canada on the world culinary stage. I think it’s amazing that Bargreen can play a part in Chef Roger Ma realizing his dream. We wish him the best.
You can find the Eh! Team in Vancouver, BC at 1040 Parker Street Vancouver, BC Canada.