Opening in December of 1986, Donald’s Market is a neighborhood fave when it comes to all things fresh and delicious. With a whopping 68 employees on staff, the shop has become a trusted source when it comes to affordable produce, and hard to find organic cooking and baking products. We recently caught up with Gary Joe, who started out as a part-time employee way back in 1986, and is still with the Hastings Street shop today. “I was working part time,” Gary says, “and I was in high school at the time. We didn’t have any titles when we first started — it was just family. There wasn’t a bunch of staff, we all did everything. Back then I grew up working here and I have friends who grew up here as well so I would spend a lot of time here and there are lots of memories.” That kind of family mentality still exists today at Donald’s, something that is evident to anyone who might have a hard time finding something. Just ask a friendly Donald’s employee, and they’ll happily help you find what you’re looking for. When we ask Gary what he likes most about his job, he tells us it’s his love of exploration and food that keep him excited about his work. “I like the sense of food – new products,” Gary says. “It’s exciting to bring in new products that might not be in the market yet. That manufacturers aren’t into yet, but we get them into our store first.” Besides donations and support with organizations around the area, Donald’s also offer free deliveries. “We work with St James, The Kettle Society, the BIA, Kiwassa, and Frog Hollow. Our most recent connection is Collingwood neighbourhood house. But we also do work for Coastal Health Society; are very connected with the community,” Gary says. With a new shop set to open in Port Coquitlam, the future growth of Donald’s Market is looking bright. “We’re an independently owned company,” Gary says enthusiastically. “We never thought we would expand to PoCo. But we have a lot of demand from that area, so we took an opportunity and are now opening a space there.” Stay up to date on Donald’s weekly specials through their website, and don’t forget to stay social on Twitter.