Sobeys store employee inspires teammates and Canadians with his message of inclusion and the power of perseverance
STELLARTON, NS, July 8, 2019 /CNW/ - For some, the word "can't" is viewed as a limitation – but not for Fonthill Sobeys employee, Michael Jacques. The young Canadian with autism and an intellectual disability is living proof of turning a challenge into an opportunity with his book, "Can't Read, Can't Write, Here's My Book." Written entirely with iPad's speech-to-text technology, Michael's book offers readers an inspiring glimpse into his life and experiences with autism. His story is a powerful demonstration of how we can all celebrate and embrace uniqueness.
Recognizing the positive impact Michael has had on his community, as Canada's Family Grocery Store, Sobeys is proud to highlight his accomplishments and help share his story with Canadians. While a Sobeys store employee by day, Michael is backed by a strong support system helping him succeed, including his friends, family and Dad, Marcel Jacques – who Michael has fondly titled his Executive Assistant. Sobeys is pleased to join Michael's support team and announce that his inspiring book is now available for sale in all Sobeys stores in Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland, as well as online via Michael's website. In true Canadian spirit, for every book purchased, Michael has committed to donating a portion of the proceeds to Special Olympics Canada and Community Living Ontario.
"From the moment I shook hands with Michael, I knew he was someone to learn from. His infectious energy touches everyone he meets, and leaves them feeling heard and valued," says Niluka Kottegoda, Vice President Customer Experience at Sobeys. "Michael's story is one of great triumph. He demonstrates the passion, resilience and positivity we should all strive to embody. The entire Sobeys team and community consider it an honour and privilege to include Michael in our family and share his inspirational book with customers in our stores."
Michael started working at the Fonthill Sobeys location in 2007 and has built an incredible bond with his store franchisee, Ron Kore. Ron and his team have identified unique ways to support Michael at work, where he has become a core member of the store team.
"I couldn't ask for a more loyal and dedicated employee than Michael," says Ron. "Michael always comes to work with a smile on his face and an eager go-getter attitude, ready to tackle whatever may come his way. We are incredibly lucky to have Michael on our team."
Sobeys is thrilled to partner with Michael on an exclusive book tour this month to share his story of inclusion and empowerment with local communities. Sobeys will host meet-and-greets and book signings with Michael across Ontario and Nova Scotia on the following dates and times:
Monday, July 8th
- 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., Fonthill Sobeys, Fonthill, Ontario
Tuesday, July 9th
- 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., Stone Church Sobeys, Stoney Creek, Ontario
- 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., Sobeys Columbia, Waterloo, Ontario
Wednesday, July 10th
- 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., Milton Sobeys extra, Milton, Ontario
- 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., Laird and Wicksteed Sobeys, Toronto, Ontario
Thursday, July 11th
- 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., Sobeys Bay, Toronto, Ontario
- 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., Sobeys Bloor and Islington, Toronto, Ontario
Monday, July 15th
- 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., Clayton Park Sobeys, Clayton Park, Nova Scotia
- 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., Sobeys North and Windsor Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Tuesday, July 16th
- 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., Antigonish Sobeys, Antigonish, Nova Scotia
Wednesday, July 17th
- 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., Cole Harbour Sobeys, Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia
- 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., Bedford South Sobeys, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Thursday, July 18th
- 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., Elmsdale Sobeys, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Events are open to the public. Sobeys encourages guests to attend the events to learn more about Michael, his incredible journey and his influence in promoting inclusivity at Sobeys.
About Michael Jacques
Michael is a young adult who lives and works in the Niagara Region of Ontario, Canada. He is a determined, compassionate and talented individual who has written his first book, "Can't Read, Can't Write, Here's My Book." Michael has autism and an intellectual disability and is a passionate public speaker. He has presented to students at the secondary, college, and university levels, as well parents and teachers, about the importance of belonging and inclusion. He sits on the board of Community Living Ontario, through which he advocates for individuals like himself. Michael hopes to write many more books and continue to make an impact in the world through his stories.
About Sobeys Inc.
Proudly Canadian, with headquarters in Stellarton, Nova Scotia, Sobeys has been serving the food shopping needs of Canadians since 1907. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Empire Company Limited (TSX: EMP.A), Sobeys owns or franchises more than 1,500 stores in all 10 provinces under retail banners that include Sobeys, Safeway, IGA, Foodland, FreshCo, Thrifty Foods, Farm Boy and Lawton's Drug Stores as well as more than 350 retail fuel locations. Sobeys, its franchisees and affiliates employ approximately 123,000 people. More information on Sobeys Inc. can be found at www.sobeyscorporate.com.
SOURCE Sobeys Inc.
For further information: Jacquelin Weatherbee, Director, External Communications, Sobeys Inc., Jacquelin.Weatherbee@sobeys.com, 416.200.0372