William Sobey, a member of Britain's Royal engineers is stationed in Halifax where he meets and marries Janet MacIntosh of Pictou County in 1862.
After returning to England, the Sobeys come back to Nova Scotia to stay — along with their seven-year-old son, John William (J.W.).
After moving to Stellarton, Nova Scotia, J.W. starts a meat delivery business. With a horse-drawn cart, he purchases and collects livestock from local farmers for resale.
A 16 year-old Frank H. Sobey persuades his father (J.W.) to expand the family business from meat and a few local vegetables to a full line of groceries.
After 15 years, the Sobeys’ chain of stores has begun. There are now six stores in Pictou County and the surrounding counties.
Eager to join the latest revolution in food distribution, Frank Sobey opens the first modern Sobeys supermarket in Atlantic Canada.
As Sobeys continues to expand through Atlantic Canada, Frank’s three sons – Bill, David and Donald – become active in the company.
Frank’s sons take over the management of the company with Bill as president, David as executive vice president and Donald heading up the growing investment company, Empire Inc.
For the first time, Sobeys achieves sales of over $1 billion. This same year, Sobeys opens its first store outside of Atlantic Canada in Guelph, Ontario.
Sobeys triples its size and becomes a national company when it acquires The Oshawa Group - a Toronto-based supplier to Canada's IGA stores.
With the introduction of the exclusive Compliments private label offering, Sobeys inspires Canadians with the best combination of quality, price and exceptional food experience. Today the line has grown to include more than 3,800 products.
To emphasize Sobeys commitment to food and customer service, the slogan “Just add Sobeys” is introduced.
Happy 100th birthday Sobeys! It’s a year of new milestones for Sobeys. The company marks its 100th anniversary and in June is taken private by majority shareholder Empire Company Limited.
In September, Sobeys expands its presence in British Columbia through the acquisition of Thrifty Foods.
Sobeys makes grocery shopping even more rewarding for customers, with the launch of the Club Sobeys and Club Sobeys MasterCard in its Sobeys banner stores in Ontario and Western Canada.
Sobeys redefines discount food retailing with the launch of the FreshCo discount food banner in Ontario.
Sobeys Inc. is now a $16 billion company with more than 1,500 corporate and franchised stores across the country.