• Franchise member since: 2007
  • Number of stores: 1
  • Flagship city: Hearst, Ontario

Located in small-town Hearst, Ontario, Danielle Morin and Guy Larose were at a crossroads in their careers; it was time to move to a big city or try their hands at entrepreneurship. Loyal to their local community, they opted for the latter and began their research on dollar stores. Danielle hit up the Google gods to explore their options.

“Great Canadian Dollar Store was the best by far,” she says. “The people seemed like family-oriented, wholesome people – that really grabbed me.” And when Danielle called the head office to learn more, the people didn’t disappoint, there to answer Danielle’s questions and guide her through the process step by step. “We talked like we’d known each other for years. They made me feel comfortable and like it was a good franchise – and they were 100% right.”

Green when it came to starting a business, Danielle and Guy relied on head office to help them open their store. “They made us feel like we were capable,” she says, “and they were right!” In Danielle’s words, the store was perfect on opening day. “Kathy is relentless,” she says of Retail & Field Operations Manager, Kathy Saul, who supported the store’s grand opening. “She has stamina, she’s smart, and she takes her job to heart.”

Even today, nearly 10 years after their grand opening, Danielle and Guy regularly defer to head office for advice and support and consider them friends. Trade shows are more like family reunions, and store visits are never judgmental – they’re only ever constructive and supportive. That support has helped Danielle and Guy’s store become a flagship in the region, clean and organized with community loyalty and pride from their township of 5,000.

“Every customer is our most important customer,” Danielle says. Her team goes above and beyond to make customers happy because it’s not just their job – it’s their livelihood. Guy adds, “Even though we’re a franchise, we have all this freedom to run our business as we see fit – it’s the best of both worlds.”

The highlight since opening their franchise? The numbers. “We’ve more than doubled our numbers since opening,” Danielle says. “We worked hard to get here, so it’s very rewarding to see its success. I look around and think, ‘Oh my god, I did all of this.’” It’s a sense of pride that only comes with business ownership.

“We’re part of a great franchise,” she says. “To this day, no regrets.