Food Lover’s Market introduces the new Montana and Paarl stores
In the last two months, Food Lover’s Market has opened two new stores in Paarl (Western Cape) and Montana (Gauteng); and completely refurbished FLM Willowbridge (Western Cape). The stores all look amazing and feature the latest brand concepts.
One new store that stood out for its tenacity and determination is FLM Montana. The old store was closed on 28 February to make way for a brand new theatre-of-food shopping destination, just 500m away (basically, across the road). The relocation process took close to nine months and during this period, all colleagues were reassigned to other stores. We spoke to Annette Smith, Store Manager of FLM Montana, to find out more about this move.
“Anthea Wenn and the HR team were involved in placing all our teams into other stores around Pretoria, such as Menlyn, Woodlands, Gateway and Lynnwood, to try and keep our people. The majority of the team, and myself, went to Midrand to assist with the new Waterfall store opening, which also prepared us for what was coming at our Montana store. A few other colleagues were placed near to where they lived and others went to Brits as part of the Bakery team.
“It has been a challenge for all of us because, as a team, we were out of sync with one another but I made it clear to everyone that when you are placed in other stores, do what is required and gain knowledge. And I must say, I am very pleased with my team as I received a lot of positive feedback from other stores about how good they are.
“We are a close family and our professional friendship is built on trust and communication. We focus on living the company values as these define what we stand for. We play together, cry together, laugh together and get the work done. My team even chose to give up their leave days to come and assist us to get the new store ready for opening day on 11 November!” enthuses Annette.
“We previously had 148 colleagues at our old store but we have expanded our ‘new’ team to 165 people that includes some colleagues from the Pretoria North store that closed down. We are also really proud of the fact that we are 100% vaccinated! We really drove this process and with the help of our HR rep, Sarah in Menlyn, we got everyone registered and vaxed. We have a team WhatsApp group and this really helped us to communicate, share information and educate everyone about the importance of being vaccinated.
“We couldn’t wait for the store to open and get in there and trade and welcome back our very loyal customers, who were already popping in to find out when we would open. Our store is bigger and now features a Crispy Chicken outlet. It’s a bit of a change of scenery but the same, positive feel being back with the team,” concludes Annette.