Korean-born busniessman Jeffrey B.H. Min founded his first
Galleria Korean supermarket
in North York in 2003, which now (moved a block north into Vaughan) employs 120 people, and in November of last year opened a second location at Don Mills and York Mills, which created 120 new jobs. Between those milestones, Min has earned plenty of recognition: Grocer of the Year awards from the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers in 2009 and 2010, a Business Leader of Character Community Award in 2007 and the Ontario Newcomer Champion Award in 2008.
Min gets still more much-deserved recognition this spring, when he'll be awarded a New Pioneer Award for entrepreneurship from Skills for Change
at a ceremony this March. The awards, known as the "Oscars of diversity," have been given out annually for the past 19 years to recognize the phenomenal achievements of Canadian newcomers in a variety of fields.
In their award citation, Skills for Change notes that Min overcame his initial lack of English to learn the Canadian business culture and create a bridge between Korean and Canadian markets. In addition to his supermarkets themselves, Min has created a Korean importing business and launched his own brand of Korean food products; innovated in the grocery business by developing a customer service management system that connects customers directly to suppliers in Korea, a real-time sales reporting system, and an inventory control system that links his stores directly to his warehouse.
Min is also active in community service, both for his employees who benefit from language and cultural training programs, and to the broader community, who have access to Galleria events spaces for community events.
The Skills for Change New Pioneer Awards take place on March 3 at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel. See their website for more information
Writer: Edward Keenan
Source: Jessette Nepomuceno, Skills for Change