Independent Operators Are Winners All The Way

Posted May 10th, 2018

Grocery Outlet independent operators continue to rack up community awards

Just 14 short months after its opening, Brett and Gina Turner’s Grocery Outlet store was named the La Pine Business of the Year. The award, coming from the Oregon Chamber of Commerce is a testimony to the know-how and commitment of the husband and wife team.

Like other Grocery Outlet Independent Operators, the Turners hit the ground running with their new store.

Brett tells us, “This award was all Gina. She … set this up.”

“It’s really cool to get the award in our first year. This reflects everything we have been trying to do since we got here,” says Gina. “It’s a small town and we have a very strong presence, most people know our faces. We love that recognition-being noticed by our community.”

2017 Business Of the Year La Pine Grocery Outlet - Independent Operators Are Winners All The Way

It only took the Turners one trip from their Bay Area home in California to decide that La Pine and Grocery Outlet were right for them. Now they are making all the difference for customers and employees alike while also donating their time and resources to the community.

Finding a flexible home with Grocery Outlet

It wasn’t always this way. Brett and Gina were store managers at Safeway when they met, then Gina went to Bed, Bath and Beyond. By the time they decided to join Grocery Outlet as independent operators, Brett had been with Safeway for 14 years.

Safeway’s rigid approach towards every part of the grocery business was discouraging. The Turners had become progressively frustrated with corporate’s wrong decisions for the store that they knew best.

As Gina recalls, “At Safeway …there are all these managers telling you what to do, it’s hard to be productive. At Safeway, there were too many teams, too many hands in one pot.”

The difference, according to Brett, is that everything at Safeway was scripted. With GO, they can make their business their own. Now they can cater to their clientele and it’s a lot more fun for them than just following a script.

The tipping point came when the Turners realized there wasn’t any room for growth at Safeway, and that they would be in still be in the same position in 5 years. With GO, they can grow and create what they want.

“There were days you didn’t want to go to work”, says Gina. At GO, it is very focused; you run the store the way you know best and you can do it all yourself.

Making their dreams come true

While working in retail, Brett and Gina experienced the frustrations of corporate micromanagement along with the usual cap on their earning potential.

As Brett says, “we wanted better compensation, to be able to do something on our own, to take ownership, to be our own bosses, and have the opportunity to grow.”

Now as independent operators at Grocery Outlet, the Turners are able to leverage their retail experience into a career that allows them to grow in ways they could never have imagined; plus there’s no micromanagement or cap on earnings.

Taking action to find the solution

The Turners knew it was time to make a move, and when Brett’s friend Kevin and his wife Tanya left Safeway to run the GO Bremerton, WA store, they left too. Bob Bernard (another GO operator) who also left Safeway, talked to them about Grocery Outlet.

After Gina filled out an online inquiry, a recruiter got in touch and helped them through the process. Grocery Outlet encourages couples to join together, this is one business opportunity where the company promotes a focus on family. The couple wanted to start loving what they did for a living. They were looking for financial security and job stability and they found it all with Grocery Outlet.

Brett and Gina Turner - Independent Operators Are Winners All The Way

By becoming independent operators with GO, Brett and Gina are now completely autonomous, controlling all their store operations like marketing, staffing, and inventory.

Enjoying their biggest successes

Since becoming GO store operators, Gina and Brett now enjoy going to work. They’ve worked hard to make their store a family place and think of their team as family.

The couple even spends time with their employees outside of the store, getting to know their families. And they work with their employees so they can focus on family too.

All the Turner’s team are encouraged to share their ideas. And it’s not just the staff who appreciate the couple’s open door policy. Customers also like to spend time with them and as Brett tells us, “One customer drops off Harley Davidson badges because he knows I ride.”

Freedom to be their own bosses

As independent operators, the Turners are free from micromanagement and the added stress. There’s nobody looking over their shoulder. Brett says, “The DSM comes in and just checks on us and leaves us alone.”

Gina agrees that the independence and being able to serve the community are paramount. Their work in the community includes being the primary donors to Frontier Day, an annual 4th of July event that is free to the public.

The Turners also have a five-year commitment to the medical center that opens in May. They have supported high schools, the baseball team, and the football team. Brett and Tina also donate food to the two food pantries in La Pine and they contribute time and volunteers to many other fundraising activities around town.

Grocery Outlet - Independent Operators Are Winners All The Way

More income with Grocery Outlet

Since starting with GO, selling groceries is giving the Turners great returns; they hit their year mark a few months ago.

Their team has evolved too. Of the 32 original employees, only two had any grocery experience.

“Now that our team has experience, we’re able to focus more on growth and managing the store,” says Gina. In a small town, it means a lot to the people here.”

Summing up their journey from employees to successful operators,  Gina says, “I wouldn’t change anything. I love it,” while Brett reckons it’s the “Best thing I ever did.”

The Turners don’t ever intend to leave La Pine. They’re planning on buying a house on the river and retiring there.

Now it’s your turn

At Grocery Outlet, we see countless success stories like Brett and Gina. Most independent operators say their only regret about moving to Grocery Outlet was not doing it sooner.

Are you tired of having your great ideas ignored?

Sick of that salary ceiling hanging over you?

Longing to be your own boss and unlock bottomless earning potential?

Grocery Outlet relies on the experience, the irrefutable industry knowledge, and the dynamic commercial thinking of every independent operator.

Why not learn how you can leverage your retail grocery experience with Grocery Outlet? You can discover how GO gives you a way to break through the corporate control and limited salaries of conventional grocery retail businesses.

Find out more about this remarkable opportunity where you can have full autonomy and the freedom to manage your store your way from day one.