General News

Rocco Macri made a difference at helm of Foodland

March 4, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Mark Pavilons

There’s something different in the aisles at Schomberg’s Foodland.
The end of an era came as Rocco Macri, the likeable, community-minded franchise owner, decided to retire.
Macri, who recently turned 68, decided to retire, after 45 years in the business, the last 11 in Schomberg. He’s loved every minute of his career, and it won’t be easy to say good-bye to a community he’s grown to love. He wanted to leave the store on a high note.
The Vaughan resident said it’s a good time to go, but the farewells, which began earlier this week, are not easy.
Macri has nothing but good things to say about his loyal, giving customers. Residents have always supported all of Foodland’s fundraising calls. Macri has been a strong supporter of the King Township Food Bank for many years. He’s been an avid booster of the firefighters and Schomberg Agricultural Society, too.
Nobody knows how many thousands of dollars worth of product Rocco has quietly donated to various community projects over the years.
“What do you need and when do you need it” was his response,” according to Carol Ann Trabert of the Food Bank. “He frequently doled out all manner of food and beverages to help keep costs down for various local fundraising events and community happenings.
“The King Township Food Bank was one of the biggest benefactors of Rocco’s community-mindedness. He encouraged the year-round display of food cards that could be purchased and left with the cashier for giving to the Food Bank (even fixing displays that had become damaged). The generous response of the shoppers has meant that the Food Bank has not had to purchase a single Foodland card to give to their registrants for many years.
“Three times a year, Rocco directed staff to prepack bags for food drives. The contents were items selected from a list of ‘most needed’ that King Township Food Bank gave to Foodland. Shoppers reacted enthusiastically, purchasing hundreds of dollars worth of bags every time they were made available. Rocco and his staff certainly made a difference in the sustainability of the food bank as it emerged, being in it’s early years when he took the helm in Schomberg.”
Macri’s efforts never went unnoticed.
He received the Sustainable King Award from the Township in 2014. In 2018, Macri won the People’s Choice Award, at the annual Chamber of Commerce celebration.
Both his customers and employees have been “fantastic.” He praised his team of employees, some of whom are familiar faces in Schomberg. They’re known for going out of their way to help customers and carry out heavier items such as bottled water or water softener salt. It has become so much a part of their generous nature that it’s automatic.
Macri said his business has been blessed by his loyal customers and as the community grew, so did the throng of local shoppers. He has seen local families grow and expand over the years and it’s an amazing feeling.
The last decade at the Schomberg store has been his best by far, even though Macri admitted that he leaves “a piece of me in every store I’ve been in.”
His days have never been typical, 9 to 5 stints and there was always something new and different. Macri was adamant about walking the floor each and every day, talking with customers and fulfilling their needs.
“I was always on the floor,” he said. “It was in my DNA being on the front lines and I learned a lot.”
It was a joy coming north every day to work and he’s enjoyed every minute of it.
Macri admits he’s a “foodie” and during his retirement he plans to tend to his garden. He promises not to be a stranger, and will make regular visits back to the community.



         

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