Top 20 Under 40: Save-On manager wins big

Zack Jones has been in Port Alberni for just over a year but he’s already raised its profile.

Zack Jones was one of the finalists at the Top 20 Under 40 Awards in Nanaimo on April 2.

Zack Jones has been in Port Alberni for just over a year but he’s already raised its profile.

Jones took home a Top 20 Under 40 win this weekend, beating out hundreds of nominees and 100 finalists to snag the business excellence award for his role as the manager of Save-On Foods.

He was one of two Port Alberni winners for 2016: Brandon Ford of Beaver Creek Home Center is the other.

“I feel very humbled and fortunate to be able to represent not only Save-On Foods but the community of Port Alberni as well,” said Jones.

“I was definitely shocked when I heard my name being called.”

Jones moved to Port Alberni from White Rock last winter to manage the new Save-On Foods store on 10th Avenue. Save-On Foods replaced Safeway a couple years ago.

“It’s been an exciting and fast paced year,” he said.

The store has undergone several changes in the past year, including the addition of a new fresh foods section that launched late last year.

“We’ve had a lot of exciting changes in our store over the past year as well, from increasing our different offerings from our sushi and our meat counter to expanding our natural foods section,” said Jones.

But the best part of the past 15 months has been slowing down to Island time.

“It’s a nice refreshing change from the city where there can be a lot of hustle and bustle and here in Port Alberni it feels like more of a big family and more of community spirit. Everyone’s welcome to go the extra mile or do those little things for you that you sometimes miss in the city.”

To Jones, giving back to the community is just good business. Save-On Foods has contributed to groups like the Bread of Life, the Alberni District Secondary Breakfast Club and Bike to Work week.

“I’m fortunate to have such a wonderful group in the store who have allowed us to take part in so many community initiatives,” said Jones.

“A lot of the ideas that we come up with come from our team members at our store here. I help them along the way with some resources but they really are the boots on the ground that help us raise all of the money for the charities in town here.”

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