CEO, MERIDIAN MEATS& SEAFOOD
When Josh Penner's father, Darrell, decided he was ready to sell his Port Coquitlam meat and seafood shop in 1996, little did he expect his elder son to make an offer. But Penner, who studied marketing at BCIT and trained in meat cutting, had started managing the store and was armed with a vision.
With his wife, brother and brother-in-law, he added three new shops to Meridian Meats & Seafood, focusing on locations next to greengrocers in Maple Ridge and Langley. His next move, to expand into other fresh foods, was inspired by a frustrating supermarket visit. “I had to walk 50 metres to go find the milk, 30 metres to find a loaf of bread and then line up,” Penner recalls. “It was a 25-minute visit just to buy a couple of things.”
Penner launched Meridian Farm Markets, converting the Maple Ridge meat and seafood store and building two more in North Vancouver and Tsawwassen. Today, 200 employees work at those three locations and at three Meridian Meats & Seafood shops in White Rock, Langley and Port Coquitlam. In November, Penner will open a fourth Farm Market, in Mission.