Eventually their 1200-foot corner store couldn’t keep up with demand, so they moved into the approximately 20,000 square foot space where the SuperValu used to be. They employed everyone who used to work at the SuperValu and still wanted a job.
“When we opened the corner store, Lori and I took most of our savings at that point and threw them on the table – win or lose,” Bobby said. “But only because we felt there were people in need of having produce or other fresh food.”
The Hurrys have helped the community before – in 2007, they provided 123 families in need with turkey and ham for the holiday season.
Today, the Hurrys employ more than 20 people between their landscaping business and Canada’s Grocery Store and More, and hope to keep growing so they can create more jobs in the community.
“As long as our employees are paid and the business moves forward, in our minds, things are good,” Bobby says.
Bobby and Lori are both proud of being the second largest employer in Fraser Lake.
Lori says it took a lot of trial and error to get the grocery store to the success it is today. But they already had experience running their own businesses, and they knew the demand was here.
“We’re entrepreneurs, we don’t let anything hold us back and we move forward,” Bobby says.
Their advice to small business owners is to live within your means, keep several months of cash reserves, and set up an emergency fund if you run into an unexpected shortfall that requires you to tap into your savings.
“Live 30% within your means,” Bobby says. “You always want to have a safety net. Make sure that you stay at 30% within your means because you never know. In our case, if one refrigeration unit breaks down it could be $11,000 just to fix it.”
When Bobby and Lori are not physically at work, they’re still thinking about how to move the business forward.
“Lori comes home from the office, just to sit down with a cup of coffee and make sure that the budgets are all balanced,” Bobby says with a laugh.
While their work is all-consuming, they love providing people in Fraser Lake a place to go for fresh groceries and that their employees can earn a living for themselves and their families.
“You only get out of life, what you put into life,” Bobby says. “We don’t like to sit around and do nothing. We started employing people because we felt there was a need for that.”
With dozens of employees, Lori and Bobby rely on FBC to handle payroll for all their employees: “Get FBC to help with your payroll. Don’t do it yourself. You can probably make it work yourself but just one wrong number and it’s just catastrophic.”