<strong>NW Balclutha welcomes second-generation grocer as owner operator</strong>

NW Balclutha welcomes second-generation grocer as owner operator

From humble beginnings picking up rubbish in the PAK’nSAVE Invercargill carpark, New World Balcutha’s new owner-operator Jason Dobson had his sights set on a career in the grocery industry from an early age. Growing up in a family of grocers, Jason spent his early years working for his father, Bryan Dobson – owner operator of PAK’nSAVE Invercargill.

“My dad has been the owner-operator of PAK’nSAVE Invercargill for almost 31 years,” says Jason. “I started out as volunteer keeping the store tidy before stepping into a fulltime job. I’ve operated checkouts and worked in almost every department, which is where my dream to follow in my father’s footsteps really started to take shape. Right from the outset I realised the vital role a well-run supermarket plays in its local area.

Jason Dobson Owner Operator of New World Balclutha

“New World Balclutha has been at the heart of its South Otago community for decades and the previous owners-operators Craig and Julie Broderick have done an amazing job. Not only is the store a community favourite, offering a modern shopping experience, it also has really important sustainable features such as CO2 refrigeration and glass doors across freezers to conserve energy.”

After a few years of on and off roles at PAK’nSAVE Invercargill while studying, and with his passion for retail and customers firmly rooted, Jason headed to the University of Southern California in Los Angeles to study Executive Retail Management, and then on to the United Kingdom to work for Tesco in London.

Jason’s journey at PAK’nSAVE Invercargill continued after his return from the UK as he stepped into the store manager position, a role held for the next four years, before accepting the operator role at New World Balclutha. 

“Working in the grocery industry really is a family affair,” says Jason. “I’ve been lucky enough to work alongside my parents, Bryan and Anne Dobson as well as my brother, Matthew and sister, Tanya, who are both also enrolled in the Foodstuffs South Island owner-operator programme.

“The Foodstuffs owner-operator programme puts a great deal of emphasis on customer experience and positive leadership. With amazing support I’ve been able to build a career pathway and learn lifelong skills that have brought me to New World Balclutha.”

With over 20 years at the Foodstuffs South Island co-op and having successfully completed the owner-operator programme, it’s the culmination of a long-held ambition for Jason to own and operate a locally loved store and he says, “this opportunity has given me a chance to serve the local community and it’s a real privilege.”

He continues, “Balclutha and the New World store have an amazing community culture and it’s nice to be part of a store where so many customers know us by name and vice versa. Our customers, and team members are very loyal, and many of our team have been at the store here for decades, which is a true testament to their dedication and why we have such a great culture.”

New World Balclutha has a long history of proudly supporting the local community and Jason is keen to continue and build on it by helping local organisations, clubs, teams and everything in between. Current sponsorships include the Junior Netball competition, Junior Rugby and naming rights of the New World Balclutha Sports Arena at The Cross Recreation Centre.

In addition to operating the store and providing support to the community, Jason is also a determined triathlete who enjoys multisport and is looking forward to representing New Zealand in Abu Dhabi with the NZ Triathlon team.

The store also provides meaningful work and opportunities for the Balclutha locals to help serve their community further, and Jason is always looking forward to new members joining his team. If Jason sounds like someone you’d like to work with, check out the roles at the store here at https://careers.foodstuffs-si.co.nz/go/Customer-Service-and-Retail/4691610/ , or pop into the store and ask for Jason.

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