It takes two – Victoria grocers on the power of combining strengths

    Daisy and Adam Orser opened the much-anticipated second The Root Cellar in Cook Street Village.

    It Takes Two
    Photo By: Michelle Proctor

    The couple had worked together for over a decade before opening first Root Cellar at McKenzie Corner in 2008. That time gave them “the confidence that our relationship wouldn’t combust when we opened our own store,” says Daisy. 

    How do you divide your work?

    We work to our strengths, which we learned in our prior careers are very complimentary — I think that’s key. Adam oversees operations, buying, human resources, recipe development and leadership.

    I oversee marketing, public relations, community involvement and culture. We both contribute to business growth and development. We joke that he bakes the cake and I ice it, but at the end of the day, we are each focusing on what we love and what we’re best at, which is what makes it work.

    What are the benefits of working together?

    They are tremendous. We each know that we have someone who understands what we’re going through on the shitty days and who appreciates the triumphs and nuances of the good days.

    We each have an absolutely honest and trustworthy sounding board, support person, cheerleader and sometimes reality-checker and bubble-burster. It sounds light, but these last two are things that many people don’t have in top positions in companies and it’s invaluable — it keeps us humble, sincere and focused on the right things.  

    How do you manage the conversations (about work) outside of work? 

    This can be hard. We try valiantly to do the “no shop talk in bed,” but we do allow it at the dinner table, as we feel strongly that there is huge opportunity for our three sons (ages 14 and 17 … our 23-year-old is out of the nest, but works full time as a procurement manager for The Root Cellar) to learn from those discussions. 

    It can be hard to shake things when you’ve had a bad day, and the one person who understands is the one pouring your glass of wine. We set boundaries and have both done a lot of communication skill development, so for the most part we keep it in check.

    There is also a lot of positive shop talk that happens outside of work, and cutting that off seems silly — you want to talk about what lights you up with your person, and we are very lucky that for the most part, that’s what work is — something that brings us joy.