Join entrepreneur Mark Wykes, owner of Wykes Your Independent Grocer in Whitehorse, as he talks about how his business has transformed due to the pandemic. Mark has over three decades of experience in retail grocery.
(1:15) Mark talks about experiencing the most challenging couple of weeks of his career when the pandemic first hit.
(1:50) Mark talks about learning how to react in the midst of chaos as our world changed so quickly. He talks about all of the changes he's made in his store to keep his staff and customers safe.
(3:50) Mark talks about how one of the biggest changes he's made for safety is limiting the number of customers allowed in the store.
(4:20) Mark talks about how challenging it was as a leader in the first couple of weeks of the pandemic as the situation changed so quickly -- making critical decisions hour-by-hour for days on end. It confirmed for him that as a leader integrity is key and creating an environment where staff can adapt and learn new skills quickly.
(5:55) For new entrepreneurs, Mark emphasizes the need to be driven, energetic and find your niche opportunity. It's also critical to get your timing right and be mindful that this pandemic has changed the business landscape.
(7:05) Mark talks about getting outside as a key to wellness. He also enjoys getting in lots of quiet time, being with his family and puttering in the yard.
(8:30) Mark speaks to how good it feels to be part of something larger. When the items like toilet paper were hard to source, it was helpful to be connected to the Loblaws chain to help with accessing in-demand items.
(9:40) Mark's excited by emerging opportunities for even more locally-sourced food/products. He's got great local vendors in his store now and he's seeing increased sales for Yukon-based products.
(10:55) Mark recommends the song "Six Feet Apart" by Luke Combs and how well is speaks to the world we're living in today. He also loves Ben Charlie's album of fiddle music that's on repeat in his truck.
(11:45) Mark talks about all of the local food production he's seeing Yukoners and how interested Yukoners are in buying products made close to home.
(12:35) Mark loves conversations with emerging food product vendors. Bring your idea and he'll try to help support you in the marketplace.
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