After nearly three decades of work at Golden’s IGA, Cam Dawes has hung up his keys for good.
With his contract up on Saturday, May 2, the long-time franchise manager, made the hard decision to retire.
“Leaving was not an easy decision in general but I knew the day was coming,” said Dawes. “I’ll miss the team atmosphere and the camaraderie with the manager’s team here and my employees.”
While his retirement falls in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dawes assures that this was not a part of the decision.
Dawes has been apart of the IGA team for 27 years, co-managing the franchise with his wife, Erin, who handles administration and runs the front end of operations. Even their son has come on board, with a job as a cashier.
Running the store is a family business of sorts, with Dawes following in the footsteps of his father before him, who ran the garden market IGA before Dawes taking over at the helm. While Dawes doesn’t like to think of it as following his father’s footsteps, he was pleased to see the store celebrate it’s 50th anniversary in Golden, spanning from his father’s time as manager to present day.
“It was a special year for us, we had t-shirts and hats and a celebration lunch,” said Dawes.
“We’ve had a lot of good feedback from the community and it was kind of a milestone for the store, but also for the town as well.”
While Dawes may be leaving, the store will continue without him. Corporate Sobeys, the company that owns IGA, will be bringing on a new manager to replace him. Dawes has said that he will stay on to help with the transition and help the new managers get acclimated to the community.
The community in Golden is important to Dawes, who reveals that he has no plans to leave anytime soon.
“Golden is a great place, we love the people here and it’s a great mountain community, I don’t plan on going anywhere but it was time for a change and to take our next steps,” said Dawes.
It’s the community that inspired Dawes’s style of management, which focuses on team building and is built on a genuine love for the people in town and those who are employed at the store.
“We genuinely care about the people and the employees, that’s what makes it so special,” said Dawes.
“I never really thought we’re doing anything extra, we’re just doing what we need to do to serve the needs of the community as best as we can.”
It’s that people-first mentality that’s allowed IGA Golden to rack up awards for Dawes’ efforts, winning Business of the Year in 2015 and the Outstanding Business award in 2016 at the Chamber of Commerce awards.
While Dawes will miss being in the store and interacting with customers and the community at large daily, he says it was time to take a step back.
But don’t worry, he’ll still be kicking around town, taking up a few projects here and there. After all, Golden is home.