Mike Saysell grew up in Lake Cowichan, and now he’s the proud store manager of Thrifty Foods Duncan.

Mike Saysell grew up in Lake Cowichan, and now he’s the proud store manager of Thrifty Foods Duncan.

‘It’s a great team and a great job. I’m one of the lucky ones.”

25 years in, local grocery store manager still loves coming to work every day in Duncan

Mike Saysell may manage a grocery store, but he says he’s in the people business.

“There’s such a connection with customers and staff; it goes far beyond the food we sell.”

In his 25 years with Thrifty Foods Saysell has enjoyed working with other passionate staff, whether they’re longtime employees like him or local teens working their first after school job.

“Seeing the team succeed — that’s what motivates me — helping them prosper in a safe, fun work environment. It’s a great team and a great job. I’m one of the lucky ones,” Saysell says. “Sometimes I’ll see young employees years later, and they still remember the lessons they learned working with me back in the day in the meat department.”

When it comes to customers, Saysell says his goal is “to thrill and inspire them.” Sometimes that’s with unique products with great quality, like their premium dry aged beef (which is carefully cured for 58 days for rich flavour and buttery texture), custom cheesecakes made fresh in-store, or the full-service flower shop. Thrifty Foods staff are always providing a great shopping experience for their customers, and Saysell says he’s fortunate to lead such a talented and dedicated team.

“It’s a team effort to ensure our staff and customers have felt happy and safe, especially over the past year,” he says. “We follow the protocols of BC Health, VI Health Authority, WorkSafe BC and our own company policies. Our staff brought forth their own ideas for a cleaner and safer store. It’s been quite a year, but our team has thrived under tough conditions.”

Community spirit

Saysell says Thrifty Foods has always been community-minded, and is used to doing a lot of “boots on the ground” volunteering. Before the pandemic, you’d often see the Thrifty Foods Duncan team at community events flipping burgers or filling Christmas hampers.

“We’re looking forward to being face-to-face with the community as soon as it’s safe. In the meantime we continue to support local programs like Backpacks for Schools, the SPCA, the Cowichan Valley Basket Society, Nourish Cowichan, Toonies for Tummies and other groups.”

Local food, from locals

Saysell grew up in Lake Cowichan and is proud to support Island growers in Thrifty Foods Duncan. Thrifty Foods picks BC producers first, and the company works directly with farmers, growers and producers in each region to bring fresh products to customers.

Find Thrifty Foods in Duncan at 1 Beverly St. right next to the TransCanada Highway.

  • Store hours: 7 days a week, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Home delivery: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily
  • Curb-side pickup: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily
  • In-store Pharmacy: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends and holidays
  • Freshly prepared bread, party platters, sushi, custom cakes and gift baskets made in-store


Just Posted

The organizers of the annual 39 days of July festival hope to return to live shows in Charles Hoey Park this year, like in this photo taken in 2019, but audiences at the show may be limited to 50 people due to health protocols. (File photo)
39 Days of July hoping for outdoor events in Duncan this summer

Annual music festival will run from June 25 to Aug. 2 this year

Cowichan Valley WildSafeBC coordinator Amanda Crowston teaches a Grade 5/6 class at Ecole Cobble Hill last fall. (Submitted)
The bears are back in town and so is WildSafeBC

The bears are back in town so keep an eye out, reminds… Continue reading

Oak Bay resident Hugh Thompson died Friday, May 7. (GoFundMe photo)
Oak Bay dad dies mountain biking near Shawnigan Lake

Community rallies around family with online fundraiser

The Regional District of Nanaimo has its sights set on busing to the Cowichan Valley in time for March 2022. (News Bulletin file)
Bus link between Nanaimo and the Cowichan Valley expected by next March

Unallocated transit hours already in Regional District of Nanaimo budget

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Two-year-old Kashius Weme rides at the Steve Smith Memorial Bike Park in Nanaimo on Tuesday, May 11. The youngster’s precocious bike-riding ability is already attracting cycle sponsors. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
2-year-old bike rider on Vancouver Island already attracting cycle sponsors

Nanaimo’s Kashius Weme has a knack for extreme cycle sports

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Fraser Health is using ‘targeted’ vaccination clinics in high-risk areas of the Lower Mainland. (Fraser Health photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 decrease continues, 515 new cases Tuesday

426 seriously ill people in hospital, up from 415 Monday

A scene from the Schoolhouse Squat from October 2018, where Alliance Against Displacement members and supporters occupied the Rutherford Elementary School site, advocating for people experiencing homelessness. (News Bulletin file)
‘Schoolhouse Squat’ activists get conditional discharge in Nanaimo school occupation

Ivan Donald Drury, Tingchun (Listen) Chen sentenced in provincial court in Nanaimo

Most Read