2009 Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes Inc.
When John MacDougall Challenged his team at Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes to come up with a company mission statement, he left pretty simple instructions. “Keep it short, keep it focused and let’s be true to ourselves,” he said.
The result was a concise proclamation of the chain’s commitment to the customers it serves: “Be Nice, Sell Stuff, Have Fun, Be the Best.” For its ongoing commitment to convenience retailing, outstanding service and its employees, CSD was proud to validate the company’s mission as the 2009 Convenience Store Chain of the Year.
“Being the Chain of the Year is a great honor, and I’m very proud of the effort everyone in the chain has put forward,” said MacDougall, the affa- ble and esteemed founder, president and CEO of the Canastota, N.Y.-based c-store chain. “The last line of our mission statement says, ‘Be the Best.’ Over the years, I have always told our people to be very proud because they are the best. I know first hand just how dedicated and accomplished Nice N Easy is as a company. This award verifies to all the people of Nice N Easy just how good they are.”
Nice N Easy, with 83 corporate and franchised stores, is the smallest chain in terms of store size to receive the award—a fact not unnoticed by MacDougall.
“I am aware of the history of this award, which has typically favored larger companies. But the dynamics in this industry are changing,” MacDougall said. “The emphasis is on quality and service, not so much size anymore. That’s why we are so proud to be recognized with this honor.”
Nice and Respected
The team at Nice N Easy has affected so many in the industry in a myriad of ways. Whether it’s through participation in share groups, as a member of NACS or just lending a helpful word of encouragement, the group’s pristine reputation and devotion to its employees and customers truly sets it apart from many of its peers in the industry.
“This award means so much to us because it honors the entire chain. We wouldn’t be the company we’ve become without the hard work and dedication of the many people who represent us,” said Fran Duskiewicz, senior executive vice president of Nice N Easy. “Yes, John MacDougall puts the ‘nice’ in Nice N Easy, but never underestimate his incredible vision and creativity. It’s rare to come across someone who combines all the best traits of a successful business leader the way Mr. MacDougall does.”
Nice N Easy is also regarded as a leader in the industry in key areas, such as technology, foodservice and labor management. Over the past 18 months, the company has wrapped up a major study tracking labor expenditures, opened its first diner concept, invested in solar panels as a means for powering c-stores and is closely examining other new power sources.
But what makes Nice N Easy special is the connection it has with its customers. In markets throughout upstate New York Nice N Easy stores are regarded for their upscale foodservice programs. Under the Easy Street Eatery banner, Nice N Easy offers a host of sandwiches and entrees that appeal to a wide-range of consumers.
“Our success has always been defined by the quality people we attract and retain. These people love to serve others, work hard, achieve goals and then celebrate reaching them,” Duskiewicz said. “Our culture has been built around doing just that and because success breeds success, we have always been able to attract even more outstanding people. That culture appeals to our customer base.”
This culture has been nurtured for more than two decades. In fact, the company has dozens of employees that have been with the company for more than 15 years. That alone says a lot about the leadership of the chain.
“Our corporate culture goes back to those people we hired 10, 15, 20 years ago who believed in us and have stayed with us because we kept them motivated and growing,” Duskiewicz said. “Because so many of them were quite young when we hired them, we have a terrific base of young pro- fessionals in their mid-30’s who are very experienced and professional. That, along with the fact that they are so devoted to Nice N Easy, makes us extremely proud.”