35 years of creating NEW MARKETS, NEW MARGINS and NEW JOBS.
My name is Calvin Stone and I am dedicated to helping you grow your business.
As an Irish- Canadian, little did I know that my father and family’s background in farming back in Ireland, would later shape my future career working with certified organic farmers in Canada and USA.
My Irish parents immigrated to Canada in 1956, with all my siblings born in Ireland, while I, the youngest of 7, was born in Canada in 1957.
My working career began while going to school when I started at the Sundial Restaurant & Inn in Orillia Ontario. I remember being hired by one of the owners and being told to report in black pants and white shirt and black bow tie. I did not know that this would be the beginning of a long career in the Food & Beverage Industry. I worked all the different spots in the Sundial Restaurant and Inn from busing to maintenance, front desk to banquets, bartending and more. I did not know at the this time that this work – six days a week with Tuesday off weekly, created the foundation of my worth ethic. It is here that I learned the value of putting in the extra mile to excel in any job. I worked here from 15 to 23 while being educated in business and worked my way to Management at the age of 21.
In 1980 I married my highschool sweetheart (now married 39 years) and had 4 lovely daughters, and later, two beautiful granddaughters.
In 1980 I left the Restaurant and Hotel retail business and joined one of Canada’s largest wholesalers in food and beverage – National Grocers Ltd, a subsidiary of Loblaw’s Company Ltd. They offered me a sales position but I quickly started working inside the company to learn all the part of the business. I filled in for sales vacations, and when a territory opened, I was assigned. With my own sales, I handled my area for delivery business, but our company had many Cash n Carry’s where my customers would buy smaller units or product they had run out of while waiting for their next delivery. I did not know it at the time, but I was learning the model not many foodservice distributor know, which is the financial model on how delivered and self service outlets grow the overall market share of foodservice wholesale companies.
I worked hard at this position, over achieving all targets, and then presented my next lateral move to my leaders. I wanted to become the supervisor of the sales team while still executing sales within the high-end resort region in the busy summer season. This was a success and resulted in a promotion to sales manager. In 1984, I was promoted to manager of foodservice Ontario for National Grocers and made the big move to their head office, downtown Toronto.
In 1988, National Grocers decided to close the delivery foodservice business that I ran and I asked if I could help sell the business rather then them close the business entirely. Today that business is all rolled up in Sysco Foods Canada and I was successful in selling the business and getting everyone new jobs, all receivable collected and all inventory sold. It was my first encounter of selling a good business that just did not fit the company retail model. What a learning experience to have led this at this time of my career at the age of 31. I was the last to leave as I closed the business.
Many new doors opened for me. I reflected on my career in the restaurant and hotel industry, the retail and wholesale delivered foodservice model, all thanks to working with the Sundial Inn, Loblaw’s and National Grocers.
The next step was accepting a manufacturing selling position offered to me by Primo Foods Ltd, which had just been newly acquired by a US company called PET Inc. I spent the next 6 years at this company as Vice President of Foodservice and than Vice President of Retail and Foodservice. This was fantastic learning and growth as I experienced the manufacturing finance models of both wholesale and retail.
My experience with wholesale allowed my team and I to take Primo Foodservice, national, growing the department from 8 million to 50 million in 36 months. It was this accomplishment that propelled me to the position of Vice President of Retail and Foodservice, in charge of the entire national sales team.
In 1994 Primo Foods Ltd, as part of PET Inc., was sold and a new career path unfolded for me. At Primo Foods, I learned how to run a successful company, how to take the foodservice segment business that was not effective and turn it around with great people and great product. I learned all about fixed cost versus variable as drove expenses down, and focused on driving new sales and increased profit margins. I also picked up great bonus structure formats for sales team motivation and became comprehensive in stock option allotment for executives . It was a great 6 years of culture and acquirements to lead the national sales team, meeting great people and connecting with customers.
A new chapter in my career began when I decided to cash out my stock options and head out into the business world, taking the risk of a lifetime; buying my own company. In 1994, my wife and I purchased the Sundial Restaurant & Inn. The business was in a terrible financial position. The owners that hired me at the age of 15 were now in their 60’s, and one owner had passed away. We purchased the business knowing we could lose everything, including our home, which we had just paid off. We cashed everything in and moved into 4 hotel rooms at one end of the hotel, with our 4 children. We built a family room and kitchen, connecting the 4 hotel rooms to create our own little home onsite. This took 13 months to accomplish.
Alongside our amazing staff, we turned the earnings of the company from a very large loss to a modest profit by the first year. By year 4, we had grown the earnings over 1000 times from first year of modest profit.
In 1998, we were given an offer to sell the business, an offer we could not refuse. We had successful flipped the business and were ready to step forward again as entrepreneurs once again. C.B.Stone an Associates was born.
Here is a look at the projects we have accomplished from 1998 to present. C.B,.Stone & Associates accomplished all due to the experience and training received at the Sundial Inn & Restaurant, Primo Foods Ltd and Loblaw Companies Limited, and most of all, due to the support of my wife and family.
1. Help Family Businesses plan an exit strategy. We have sold companies that ranged in exit sales from 1 million to 35 million.
2. Conducted a foodservice business partnership between Loblaw Co Ltd with Gordon Foodservice Company. Canada‘s number one Retailer and Canada’s number one Foodservice company. This merge has proved to be enormously successful.
3. Founder of Chef’Store Cash N Carry project with US Foods Ltd. This model continues to grow and expand with new outlets in Dallas and Charlestown.
4. Project Lead for a Bain Capital company in London, England to create a self service foodservice Cash N Carry just outside London. (What a experience to put all you every wanted in a self service model. I will never forget this experience!)
5. Executive Vice President of Business Development at Greenhouse Juice Company, helping format strategy, growth, higher margins, all focused in growing the certified organic cold beverage market.
6. Travelling and meeting Certified Organic Farmers and working with them and their juice grades, which helps them be able to sell all their product of all grades at more competitive pricing at the retail and foodservice markets.
7. Helping a 25-year-old Certified Organic Company plan for the next 25 years.
Apart from these business developments, I have a passion for volunteering in my community, and act as an active member on the local Chamber of Commerce. I created Ontario’s Lake Country tourism campaign as a volunteer Co–President, which is thriving now today. See at www.OntariosLakeCountry,.com
I am a Irish-Canadian, USA permanent resident, with authorization to work in Canada, USA, UK and Europe.
Please do not hesitate to contact me at calvin@cbstoneandassociates for any questions or inquires.