Choices Market is all about supporting the community in many different ways.
Whether they're stocking the shelves with gluten-free bread, unloading trucks filled with organic produce or making sure there are meat and dairy free options for Kelowna’s Vegans, Choices provides locals with a grocery store where they can find exactly what they're looking for regardless of dietary needs.
Not only are they working hard to create a welcoming environment for their customers, but they provide a workplace where individuals of 'diversabilities' can harvest success — and they have been doing so for the past 10 years through their work with Pathways Abilities Society.
For the past decade, Choices Market store manager, Patrick Clancy, has been growing a nurturing a relationship with Pathways by providing a positive work environment for five individuals with 'diversabilities.'
“It’s something I personally believe in, I think it is important to give everybody an opportunity,” said Clancy.
“This program gives people who may not have access to these opportunities otherwise, the chance to learn life skills, social skills and earn an income," added Clancy.
The Pathways employees might be tasked with arguably some of the most important jobs at Choices, keeping the store in tip-top shape for its customers.
Usually, they are spending their shifts facing the shelves, dusting, breaking down cardboard and keeping an eye on the fresh produce. If you’re lucky, you may have the chance to chat with them while they help pack your groceries too.
“It is really great for morale, our employees just love having them around,” said Clancy.
One employee, in particular, has been providing smiles at Choices for some time now. Curtis recently received an award for five years of dedication to the independent grocer.
“Everyone knows Curtis in our store, they all love him and his personality,” said Clancy
“He is always eager, asks what his tasks are for the day, sets up and then gets it all done, he is a really big part of the team.”
“He comes to every event and team building exercise, he fits in really well and we are just really happy to have him on staff.”
This our second installment of Heroes of Diversability, which is a series highlighting businesses around Kelowna who have partnered up with Pathways to employ an individual with 'diversability.'
Pathways Abilities Society is a non-profit organization providing services to individuals with diverse abilities in the Central Okanagan for over 60 years. Among the services it provides, Pathways connects local progressive businesses with individuals with diverse abilities, developing customized employment programs that put diverse abilities to work in our community.