By Sheila Phibbs
The Haldimand Press
HAGERSVILLE—Taking over an established business can be a daunting task at the best of times; to do so during a global pandemic is almost unimaginable. This has been the reality for the new owner of Hagersville Foodland, Rita Haviland, who has fully embraced the challenge and continues to provide the quality service the community expects from a hometown grocery store.
Haviland grew up in Simcoe and now lives in Jarvis with her husband, Chad, and their two teenage children, Kendra, 18, and Cole, 15. While she is new to franchise ownership, she is backed by more than 20 years working for Sobeys. That corporate experience includes many management positions. She also spent four years working out of Sobeys head office as a Specialist, travelling to different stores across central and western Ontario.
After spending most of her career commuting to different Sobeys locations, Haviland felt the need for a change. When the Hagersville franchise became available, she was ready to seize the opportunity. She explains, “I was ready to be close to home and to serve my home community.”