Yarmouth Chamber Corner – Get to know one of our members, Phil LeBlanc from IMO Foods Ltd.! IMO Foods has just celebrated their 50th year anniversary in 2018 and we are proud to have them as a member. Phil is pictured beside an older photo of fishing boats that would bring in product for IMO Foods.
What does your business provide?
We produce canned fish. Primarily herring kipper snacks, which is our traditional product and now we are doing more sardine fillets which is a cleaner and lighter product which seems to be what the market enjoys.
Everything we do is a canned, retail, ready to eat product.
What made you want to start your Business?
I actually started working here as an employee and then worked my way up by becoming a manager and then I took on the business about 10 years ago. Partly the reason I started working here was that I grew up in Yarmouth and wanted to return back after working away. After coming back, I’ve been working at IMO Foods Ltd. for 28 years!
When I first started as an employee I was interested in knowing everything about IMO Foods and not just my specific job. I really liked the overall aspect of the total management of the company, what the company can do and getting to direct it. I always had goals to keep moving forward.
What does it mean to you to be celebrating 50 years in business?
I think 50 years shows that the company has a good product that people want. This area is good for the company as well because we’re packing seafood and this is a great area to be for that!
The workforce is what has made the company stable as well. We’ve had people here for over 40+ years, almost since the start of IMO Foods.
What are the positive attributes of doing business in this community?
We really love the rural aspect of living and working here in Yarmouth. It fits the company because the raw material is here and we can ship it out. Our product is stable so it’s not like we need to be right next to the big city… we can be right here and it’s worked well for us.
When did you join the Chamber of Commerce & how have we helped?
Before I started working here (28 years ago), we were already a member of the Chamber so I’m thinking it’s probably around 40 years ago that we’ve joined. I was involved in the Chamber years ago on the Board and as I got busier I had to back off and concentrate on the business.
I’m all for supporting the Chamber which has provided networking opportunities and getting people together. This Chamber has focussed on many things, one of which being transportation. Where we are, transportation is huge so that we can continue to ship our products. That’s part of the reason that we support the Chamber. I think everyone should be with the Chamber!