|GHQ| RETAIL SPOTLIGHT
will see if it works,” Pursh says. “It is their success and they feel good
about it,” Pursh says. “We are not just telling them what to do.”
As a result, associates often suggest new flavors or things they saw
on TV shows or while traveling. “That is always really neat, especially
for the younger kids. It is really cool to see them getting involved with
that sort of thing,” Dawson says.
Campbell notes that because McGinnis Sisters is family-owned,
ideas can be tested and implemented quickly and do not have to be
run by a buying committee, chief merchandising officer or board of
directors. “Our motto is ‘If you come up with it you have to implement
it.’ That creates a lot of things—and stops a lot of things,” she laughs.
That attitude also endears employees to the company, and as a result,
McGinnis Sisters has a lower turnover rate than its big chain counterparts. Also aiding employee happiness are the relatively limited hours,
with stores closing at 7 or 8 p.m., except during the summer when they
are open until 9 p.m.
“A reason people want their kids to come here for their first job is
that we close at a reasonable time,” says Jennifer Daurora, director of
operations, and Vello’s daughter. “High schoolers don’t have to give
up all their activities in order to have a job, and we are one of the few
operators to still have six paid holidays. That is a choice we made and
we stuck with it.”
TO THE RESCUE
NEARLY 40 PERCENT OF THE FOOD PRODUCED IN THE U.S.
GOES TO WASTE, including more than 50 percent of produce, says
Noreen Campbell, vice president and co-owner of McGinnis Sisters Special
McGinnis Sisters is doing its part to reduce the amount of food
going to waste in its stores by partnering with a local group called
412 Food Rescue. Named after Pittsburgh’s area code, 412 Food Rescue
gives food to families in need in Pittsburgh’s poorer neighborhoods.
According to the 412 Food Rescue website, 171,660 people in Alleghany
County, where Pittsburgh is located, are food insecure, including 43,090
children. Unlike a food bank, 412 Food Rescue does not store the food, but
rather specializes in perishable items that are still perfectly good, but no
Food 412 Rescue uses multiple modes of retrieving and delivering food,
including its own truck and volunteers who use their cars and bicycles to
move food from the donors to beneficiary organizations, including soup
kitchens and school backpack programs to directly distribute the food.
“We have always supported the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank, but 412
Food Rescue is nice because they come to us every day if we need them,”
says Jennifer Daurora, director of operations for McGinnis Sisters. “We
just have to call them and they will come. We could have excess produce,
canned goods or baked goods. They’ll take whatever we have and work
on the redistribution on their side, which really is helpful logistics wise. It
would be too tough for us to do that, so that take care of it.”
In addition to McGinnis Sisters, 412 Food Rescue also works with area
Whole Foods, Big Burrito and Costco locations.