Pivoting to a people-centric business model to support the community

Paramount Fine Foods is an 80 restaurant, 17 butcher shop food company chain, operating not just in Canada but in seven other countries around the world.

Mohamad Fakih, president and CEO of Paramount Fine Foods, started the operation after coming to Canada in 2006, with $1,200 in his pocket.

Fakih sat down with RealAg Radio host Shaun Haney at the 2021 Grow Canada conference to talk about his session titled “Innovating Your Business Model.”

“Being someone that came here with nothing and people helped me, when I heard that he was struggling, I wanted to know more. But at the same time I was always thinking that you could actually reflect the culture through the food and the food experience,” says Fakih, about the local bakery that was struggling in his area.

“I always believed there’s a lot of good things around breaking bread together, and I wanted to have that place to do that,” says Fakih, but most importantly, not knowing anything about the food industry, Fakih had to count on his team, great talent, and the community, which is why he partnered with the community from day one.

Fakih likens innovation or moving forward to having the memory of a goldfish — to not get stuck in the old ways so that valuable people in the industry aren’t lost. To be able to pivot quickly has been a necessary skill throughout the pandemic and has taught society how to depend on one another, says Fakih.

“We need to change our business model. We used to put the shareholder first, and now we need to put people first,” says Fakih.

Listen to the full conversation to hear Fakih’s thoughts on having an employee-first mentality, below: