Jack Rabba, founder of Rabba’s Fine Foods, has been shortlisted as a top 75 finalist for this year’s Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards.
Presented by Canadian Immigrant magazine, this is the 13th anniversary of the national awards program celebrating the inspiring achievements of immigrants.
Voting to determine the Top 25, now open at canadianimmigrant.ca/top25, closes on September 17.
“I am honoured by the recognition,” said Rabba, founder of Rabba Fine Foods. “Since setting foot on Canadian soil, I’ve valued my adopted country’s openness, the rights it guarantees its people, and the generosity and friendliness of all my fellow Canadians. I’m happy to have had this opportunity to work hard and, over the years, to do my best to give back to my neighbours. If I can inspire one single immigrant to overcome the obstacles they will inevitably face, I would be overwhelmingly pleased.”
Rabba immigrated to Canada in 1966 with only the promise of a clerical job at a hotel and the clothes on his back. After marrying his wife Ingrid at Toronto’s Old City Hall while they were both on their lunch break, he soon took a position as a convenience store manager. By working long hours and saving, Jack gathered enough money to put a down payment on a small convenience store of his own in the heart of Toronto. Soon, he was able to help his parents and siblings join him in Canada and managed to carry the weight of his family, while building a successful neighbourhood business.
As his business grew, he realized customers were looking for more variety and so he began to expand the store. In 1985, he renamed the chain and Rabba Fine Foods was born. Today, the network features 35 stores across the GTA that are open to 24/7.
Under his leadership, the company has introduced a growing number of Tim Hortons locations within Rabba markets, established a partnership with Paramount Fine Foods, and started to consolidate its community giving efforts under a new umbrella–the Rabba Roots Community Program. From helping refugees to men’s, women’s, and children’s shelters around the city, Rabba regularly offers food and essential supplies to those in need. Recent examples include funding to help ICU units at Trillium Health Partners, nutritious meals for school-aged children across Canada through the Toonies for Tummies program, partnering with Good Shepherd Ministries/Shelter to donate meals to Toronto’s homeless men during the Super Bowl weekend, and donating feminine hygiene products to Mississauga women’s shelters.
The 25 winners will be announced in November 2021 in Canadian Immigrant and online at canadianImmigrant.ca.