Sunterra took root in 1950 on the farm of Stan and Flo Price in Acme, Alberta. Sunterra was co-founded in 1970 by Stan and Flo and eldest son Dave fueled by their passion for the land, animals and farming. This led to building a family business that would become known for its forward-thinking approach and grow to also include a meat processing plant and eight retail locations in Edmonton and Calgary.
You will notice Sunterra has unveiled a refreshed logo reflecting fifty years of farming and thirty years of meat processing and retail. The celebrations started in January with the expansion and transformation of Sunterra’s original retail store in Bankers Hall and continues throughout the year with a new market opening in Red Deer, special promotions for customers and reflections on Sunterra’s history and future from the perspective of the people behind the brand.
Five decades in business is no easy feat. If you ask the Price family how they’ve achieved such a milestone, you won’t get an answer quoted from a business book that talks about margins or hustle or scaling. The answer remains constant – Sunterra’s success is thanks to its people.
“It always comes back to the calibre of our team,” says Glen Price, the youngest of seven Price siblings and President of Sunterra Market. “We apply the family approach to our business, and truly care about those who work with us, and I believe that feeling is contagious. When you start with good people, they influence the rest of the team and attract people who care about the same things. In our family, each of our siblings is incredibly different, which is the same within our Sunterra team. We celebrate our differences, but at the core we care about the same things.”
Before it was known as Sunterra, the business started with pork as part of Pig Improvement Canada, when Stan and Flo and eldest son Dave saw an opportunity to increase standards in the industry and bring a higher quality product at a better price to customers both locally and around the world. The farm’s major innovations would change the pig industry for the better and would set in motion the legacy that would become Sunterra Market as we know it 50 years later. Every June, Sunterra honours this history with Pork Month, and this year’s celebration is extra special with the 50+30 anniversary milestone. When asked what lessons they’ve learned over the years from pig farming to retail markets, Glen laughs that “it’s the challenging times that make you learn the most.”
“The constant lesson is that we don’t know everything. We have taken on many projects where we had no experience previously, which means we often break the rules along the way, which I think has contributed to our innovation and success. That attitude of continuous improvement and learning has served us well.” Glen adds, “Growing up on the farm we had a lot of leeway. We were thrown into situations to learn on our own. Of course we made mistakes, but we learned not to make the same mistake twice and this is how we approach innovation at Sunterra.”
When asked about the future of the business and what opportunities excite him, it’s no surprise Glen is focused on how people feel about Sunterra first and foremost.
“I want to continue our success with expansion and new stores, but mostly we want to strengthen the loyalty felt by our current customers and team members. Success to us is measured by how people feel within and about the organization. The ultimate feedback is customers who keep coming back and employees who love working with us.”
Learn more about Sunterra’s history and find Pork Month recipes, special Fresh Rewards, Pork 101 and more here.