John MacDougall, founder and president of Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes, passed away Saturday evening at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio surrounded by family. He was 73.
MacDougall founded Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes in 1980. Since that time, the convenience store chain has grown to 80 locations in upstate New York.
“These past six months have been very difficult for his family, friends and his Nice N Easy family. But John fought very hard and came back a long way and we should be glad we had the opportunity to spend time with him, talk with him and settle many things. These past couple months were treasures that I was afraid we would not be able to share when he first became ill and was so many miles away and out of touch,” noted Fran Duskiewicz, senior executive vice president in a statement. “The best way to honor him right now is to continue doing things the Nice N Easy way— ‘people first’—the way he preached and lived. These past couple months, when I would become maudlin or morose, he would shake his finger at me and tell me to ‘move on.’ I knew exactly what he was saying and that is what he wants us to do.”
“He was very proud of the way we ran the company while he was out. It pleased him that the faith he placed in us all was well deserved. I have to admit that I am proud of us all, too,” Duskiewicz said.
There will be a service for MacDougall in Cleveland, and a memorial service planned in New York.
“In the meantime, it’s okay to be sad, but remember that John was always a happy, upbeat person and that is what he would want from us right now,” Duskiewicz said.
In 2009 CSD honored MacDougall for his long standing commitment to his employees, his customers and convenience retailing with the 2009 Convenience Store Chain of the Year Award.
“This is a ‘people industry,’” MacDougall told CSD recently. “Always has been and always will be. If you understand people and work to fulfill all their wants and needs, you’ll do the right thing at the right time. What the really successful companies in our industry have done to evolve and thrive is to anticipate what people want and then be ready to serve them.”