Tag Archives: Clancy’s Meat Co.

Clancy’s expands into Ontario

Western Canadian retail franchise system Clancy’s Meat Co., founded in 1997, has now expanded into the Ontario market. The province’s first two stores opened in London and Whitby earlier this year.

Monique Widing’s New Beginning with Clancy’s Meat Co.

By Monique Widing

Monique Widing, franchisee in Kelowna, B.C., with Clancy’s Meat Co. Photo courtesy Clancy’s Meat Co.

When it comes to taking the leap into franchising, I think the biggest thing you have to have is confidence in yourself. In fact, believing in yourself can be the biggest challenge you face.

That was certainly true in my experience. As a franchisee with Clancy’s Meat Co., a retailer of fresh and frozen food products, I’ll admit there have been times when I’ve been overwhelmed. However, by having confidence in my ability to get things done (even things I thought I might not be able to do), I’ve succeeded. With hard work and the support of your family and franchisor, you can do it, too.

Working with people
I was born in Kelowna, B.C., where I spent the first couple of years of my life before my family moved to nearby Winfield. I finished ninth grade there, and then moved to Vernon, B.C., where I attended Clarence Fulton Secondary School. I graduated in 1990.

Back then, I pictured myself pursuing a career in business, so I enrolled in a business administration program at Okanagan College in Vernon. To finish the program, I had to complete a two-week practicum, which I did at the B.C. Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB, now called WorkSafeBC). I turned out really liking the job, but I went back to school for a legal secretary’s program. After six months, and a two-week long practicum at a law firm, I was offered a job at WorkSafeBC and decided to take it.

It was a really nice job for me at the time. I started out in the Vernon office doing mostly secretarial tasks—typing and other steno work. When they started up an office in Kelowna, I transferred there. Over the years, I moved up the ranks, doing some front desk work before eventually making my way up to the role of team assistant, in which I helped the case manager who adjudicated workers’ claims.

One of the constants of my various roles at WorkSafeBC was that I was always interacting with people. Often, I was dealing with workers, many of whom were frustrated or not feeling very well. I really enjoyed helping these people and it taught me a lot about customer service. It’s a skill that would also serve me very well in my future life as a franchisee.

Read the full article: A New Beginning

Transferable Skills: The franchisor’s perspective

Paul Monger, president of Clancy's Meat Co., says becoming a franchisee can—and in some cases should—involve switching careers entirely. Photo courtesy Clancy's Meat Co.

By Peter Saunders

Having made the same transition from restaurants to food retail, Paul Monger, president of Clancy’s Meat Co., has noticed certain formulas for success among the franchisees with whom he works from his offices in Surrey, B.C.

“We see a lot of franchisee teams where one person is extroverted and customer service-oriented, while the other is numbers-oriented,” he says. “Typically, opposite personalities attract. And many of these franchisees are married couples. In an ideal world, though, you get all of that in one package.”

If these skills sound somewhat generic compared to specific franchised industries, it’s no accident. Monger very much champions the idea that becoming a franchisee can—and in some cases should—involve switching one’s career entirely.

“It’s important to show attention to detail, process and procedure, so a franchisee could have a background in a regimented but unrelated industry like engineering, financial analysis or the military,” he says. “Having someone come from a similar field, on the other hand, can be hit or miss. With Clancy’s, for example, it’s actually harder to make a generalization about potential franchisees who already understand the food industry. It’s more of a leap of faith.”

When meeting with potential franchisees, particularly at the initial interview stage, Monger says he looks for ‘soft’ skills first, while ‘hard’ skills are a secondary.

“The hard training that’s most useful is in sales, marketing, bookkeeping and accounting,” he explains, “but while it’s nice to have training and degrees, the lack of them won’t necessarily prevent someone from working well in the franchise system, if they’re trainable. And for that matter, a background in training is a strong advantage, as they will need to train others in the same system.”

Read the full article: Transferable Skills for Franchising

Transferable Skills: From franchise to franchise

Richard Helwing applied skills he learned in one franchise to another. Photo courtesy Clancy's Meat Co.

By Peter Saunders

When Richard Helwing recently became a Clancy’s Meat Co. franchisee in Edmonton, he had already worked in the franchising world, but with another brand.

“I started working at Boston Pizza in my teens and was there for 13 years,” he says. “I did every kind of task in the restaurant and had a great time. It was ‘franchised for the franchisees,’ with a real focus on making sure the franchisees felt good. I almost became a franchisee myself.”

During that time, he developed different types of skills, some of which could clearly be transferred to other franchises.

“At the beginning, it was learning by doing,” he says. “My boss, Ron Brodeur, was a great mentor who taught me a lot about business. Over the years, I learned about ordering, staffing, scheduling, operations, logistics and customer service. I also took corporate training through Boston Pizza toward the end of my career there. I don’t have a business degree, but I learned about accounting and related office work.”

Helwing was also familiar with the career of former restaurant franchise executive Paul Monger, who went on to acquire Clancy’s in 2008 with a rebranding and market expansion program in mind. Based on a product line of fresh and frozen meats, ready-prepared dishes and desserts, Monger’s goal today is to develop new stores across Canada and the U.S., well beyond the food retailer’s roots in Langley, B.C., and the rest of Metro Vancouver.

“When I first met with Paul to discuss Clancy’s in early 2010, I could tell he had a vision and knew what he was doing,” says Helwing. “I felt I was in good hands. The store used to be like a butcher shop, but now also draws some inspiration from M&M Meat Shops, by integrating packaged goods and frozen products along with the fresh foods. As I had run a Boston Pizza restaurant, my experience was relevant in areas like food preparation, dealing with customers and being part of the community.”

Indeed, for Helwing, part of the appeal of opening a Clancy’s is a return to the public-facing food-service franchise world after some time away from it.

“I get to be a people person again,” he says. “I worked for four years at an oil company, during which time I never met anybody! Whereas with a business like Clancy’s, excellent customer service skills are universally important. Just because you buy a franchise doesn’t mean you’ll make a million dollars. It’s not just pushing a button and going on auto-pilot.”

Read the full article: Transferable Skills for Franchising

Brian Davy joins Clancy’s Meat Co. as VP of franchise development

Brian Davy has joined Clancy’s Meat Co., as vice-president of franchise development, leading franchise recruitment and site selection of all new Clancy’s stores in Ontario, which are set to begin opening by mid-2011. As a former successful multi-unit franchisee with M&M Meat Shops, Davy is a veteran of the frozen specialty food sector.