My name is Angela Maroosis-Desvreaux, and I am The Grocery Gal. I started my business in early 2008. I yearned for something fulfilling and wanted to make even a small measure of difference to my community, so with all that in mind I went to work looking for an idea and while reflecting upon some of my happiest memories growing up I found the answer. Growing up my sister, Kalla and I had spent a lot of time with my grandparents, John and Irene James, and one of our weekly rituals was Friday shopping trips; now the closest grocery store was about a 20 minute drive, but the better shopping centre was almost an hours drive.
Grandma had friends and neighbours who could not always get to the stores, so she would offer to pick up some things for them on her weekly excursion. Another fond set of memories involves weekly outings with my Yaya and Papo (Greek for grandma & grandpa) this would sometimes have to involve myself and another person because Papo would go one way with the cart and Yaya would start picking items in another section of the store, so it would take two us to shuttle the items from her to the cart. Later in life my husband, Tim would describe these outings as a type of tag team event and there were times that it did involve physical defensive blocking manoeuvres when crowded stores would mean impatient shoppers driving their cart through the aisles with reckless abandonment.
With these wonderful memories I began my journey following in the footsteps of my great Papo, my Papo and my father. In May 2008 I met a lovely lady called Margaret, she was very distressed at the prospect of moving out of her apartment and into a Long Term Care Facility. Margaret’s doctor had advised her and her family that due to her medical conditions she would need to be in an environment where she could rest and not be expected to perform regular housekeeping duties. Margaret took my pamphlet to her Doctor and convinced him and later her children that with the housekeeping from a local organization and my shopping service that she could remain in her own home at least for a while longer. They agreed to give it a try and The Grocery Gal had her first client. Margaret was able to remain in her home until early 2010 when further medical complications would make it impossible for her to continue living safely on her own. Margaret was my rock, when things did not seem to be catching on as well as I had hoped a visit with her would instill a renewed energy to push onward. It was not a pep talk she offered, it was simply a heartfelt “Thank you for being my Angel”, said each time to me with tears in her eyes.
Today I am fortuate to be able to help many other “Margarets”, as well as local service organizations, clubs, businesses and busy families. Each day is a wonderful new adventure filled with meeting and helping all kinds of different people in this community and for that I am truly thankful.