Mr. Goudas Events and News

Dec 31, 2001

Goudas Foods 'Divorce' from National Grocers


After a wonderful relationship lasting just over 25 years, National Grocers decided to discontinue carrying Goudas Foods brands such as: Blue Lake & Lion brand, Mamma Lucia, Pride of Himalaya, Cakemaker, Lentilino, Tourlou-Tourlou, Star brand, Speedy Rice, Heavenly Bite, Garlito, Jewel of the Indies, Golden Feather, Tiranga brand, Tai-Tai brand, Snappy pop, Spinorizo, Golden Phoenix, Golden Dragon, Bambolino, 
Mr. Goudas, etc.) in their stores. 

Goudas Foods have thoroughly enjoyed dealing with all the National Grocers' banners, such as No Frills, Loblaws, Zehrs, and Fortinos, and he fondly remembers that day in May 1977 when our products first entered the No Frills store at Bloor and Dufferin. 

In fact, Mr. Lederer, was instrumental in getting the product in that store, and he was present with Mr. Goudas when the first No Frills stores was set up. 

In the last 25 years, Mr. Goudas worked closely and whole heartedly to make positive decisions for the direction and the benefit for the whole organization with the following people: 
Frank Boyland, Dan Fellin, John Lederer, Jeff Warszek, Willi Jastrau, Peter Rempel, Francesca Renda, Dave Nicholls, Lou Pecchia, Ron Dicke, Dave Mock, Paul Ormsby, among others. 
They were the backbone of the organization and made National Grocers, which included No Frills, what it is at this point. 

These individuals worked tirelessly to attract the increasing ethnic population in Canada to their stores. 

Suddenly, the organization decided to inject new blood. 

Who knows what this course of action will bring. 

The sales of the organization are at the highest that they have ever been, and shares on the stock market also at the highest levels. 
Obviously, the input of the original brains and that of Mr. Goudas resulted in very high dividends. 

However, with the elimination of Goudas Foods which was foremost in bringing in the traffic into the stores, assuredly, the organization will see a decline in traffic and the disorientation of consumers who will now be unable to purchase the products that they have grown to trust. 

The Goudas line included more than 600 items and an assignment of 2 aisles of wonderful products from all over the world, and more than 10 skids of displays of high value items. 

With respect to the impact of the loss of the National Grocers account, on various media outlets, on television and in the newspapers, Mr. Goudas mentioned that the nature of ethnic foods encompasses a lot of understanding and unimaginable challenges. 

This knowledge and experience is not acquired overnight, or through university courses. 

They are only achieved in a practical manner from the day-to-day experiences with the needs of various cultures. It takes years to comprehend this facet of the industry. 

Ethnic foods do not only involve taste, but also includes geography, and religion. 

Moreover, simply removing the most trusted food brand in the country, and replacing it with a supervisors choice, my moms best blend, my cousin Joe flavour or supertest choice and other imitations, will not attract the attention of loyal customer. 

Therefore, Mr. Goudas products will find a way to the shelf of the supermarket across the street. 

That of course will take a little time. As they say, Rome was not built in a day. 

It is safe to say that the big empire will face challenges with consumer traffic and stock market share declines. 

Time will reveal itself. 

On a final note in a media interview, Mr. Goudas stated the following: 

My company appreciates the remarkable growth in business between the companies over the years, to a point where the stores carried over 600 items with the Mr. Goudas label and associated brands, which were the center of the attraction within the stores, became synonymous with outstanding quality, and have been accepted by millions of loyal consumers, who will keep following the brand. 
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After this event was posted, Goudas Foods has been receiving thousands of letters from customers commenting on the 'divorce' of the company from National Grocers.

In those letters, the customer's disappointment for this event is clearly communicated. Here is an example: 

May 28th, 2004 
From: Jim Gunn 

"It was interesting reading about "your divorce" from Loblaws. I've experienced the same- lost weekends and family time to meet deadlines etc. And for what? 

These customers forget about your service and the money you made them. But it's funny-when one door closes two more open." 

July 11, 2004 

Dear Mr. Goudas: 

I was scanning your website and came across the particular article about your divorce from Loblaws and No Frills. 
Needless to say, it saddened me to learn that after 25years of supplying Loblaws and No Frills and indirectly making them expand through the vast assortment of products you supply under the Goudas label that they in turn have rejected you. 

As a consequence, as a loyal Mr. Goudas foods person, I will no longer be a Loblaws and No Frills customer. 

Please continue your excellent work. It is because of you and your iniative in fostering the importation of ethnic foods that I can keep a piece of my heritage, my mothers and grandmothers forever.

I have passed this tradition on to my children and now I am continuing to pass it on to my grandchildren. 

Please do not take offense to this but somehow I was under the impression that Mr. Goudas was deceased, and a product line was developed in his name only. 

I am delighted to know that you are alive and kicking and most of all I would like to complement you on the speech that you made in Costa Rice at the Chamber of Commerce.

Your speech, in my opinion, is a light a tunnel and has given hope to native Costa Rican for an opportunity for a brighter future since Costa Rica is my neighboring country. 

I smile while writing this because you never know my country, El Salvador, may be the next Central American country to be honored with you presence giving encouragement for a brighter future in the food industry. 

I was also impressed to see the generosity you express to various organizations that have sent you letters of appreciation over the years. It makes me feel good to know that by purchasing foods under the Mr. Goudas label that I am also indirectly making a contribution to a good cause. 

Maria Deluca, once just a customer, now a Very Loyal Customer. 

P.S.: Maybe one day my grandchildren and me may be able to come to your office and take a picture with you and Koukla.

My grandchildren loved the story of Koukla.

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