Nate Alcos is the store manager at Prince Rupert’s Save On Foods, where he heads fundraisers for community initiatives. (Keili Bartlett / The Northern View)

Heart of Our City: Fruits of Labour

As the store manager at Save On Foods, Nate Alcos heads community fundraising initiatives

Even as Nate Alcos is unloading 20 boxes of donated food from the back of the Save-On Foods delivery van on Nov. 23, he apologizes that it couldn’t be more.

Approximately one third of the space in the van is taken up by non-perishable groceries destined for the Salvation Army food bank in Prince Rupert, but Alcos wanted to fill the whole thing. Back at his office in the grocery store, he’s already listing off what he’ll do differently next time.

It’s not the first time Alcos has set a goal for himself. At 15 years old, he started his first job, working at a branch of Save-On Foods in his hometown of Hope, B.C.

“I was a meat clerk. I just did clean up and I hated it. It was the worst thing ever,” Alcos said.

But his mom encouraged him to stick with the less-than-glamourous job in the meat department. He worked his way up in the company, and decided he wanted to become a store manager before he turned 30. A year ago, when Alcos was 28 years old, he did just that.

“She ended up being right in the long run, as she usually is,” Alcos said with a laugh. “She’s really proud of me now.”

To become a store manager of a Save-On Foods store, the president of the company calls you — out of the blue — and offers you the position.

“It was a little surreal,” Alcos said.

“I was in Prince Rupert a few years ago as an assistant manager for a year and a half … I got the call to come back here, which I totally jumped at. I loved living here before, so it made sense. I had personal ties here, friends and stuff like that. It was a super easy decision.”

His friends from down south often ask why he loves Prince Rupert so much. They don’t know much about the community, Alcos said, and couldn’t point to it on a map. Alcos has a simple response: the people.

“What I absolutely love about this place is any little community event gets so much support. Like here, you put on a concert in the park and it’s all over Facebook, people of all age groups and all walks of life are there, and everyone supports it 100 per cent. I just think it’s really cool that in such a small places there’s so much to do all the time,” Alcos said.

When he’s not working, Alcos loves playing badminton twice a week and occasional tournaments. He also plays hockey and slo-pitch, and spends a lot of time outside hiking. He said he was initially surprised by the amount of talent in the North Coast sports community, but it’s clear how much he loves being involved.

He has big dreams to use that sense of community for the greater good. He wants to not only fill the delivery van with food donations, but turn it into an event.

“I see around here, it’s a fantastic town, tons of great people, but I also know that there are some hardships in this town as well. We deal a lot with the Transition Society, we support a lot of the initiatives they put on,” he said.

“I like to see when the fruits of your labour has an effect on the community, and you do help a little bit. You can see it just walking around town that some people have a hard time around here, so any little bit that we can do to help is only win-win.”


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