David Blair cares.
He cares about his employees, his customers, and his community. For the past 20 years, David — or Dave, as people call him — has been behind the scenes of Banff’s grocery store on Bear Street, Nester’s Market.
Formerly called Keller Foods, Dave started as the assistant store manager and is now the store manager, where he can be found doing anything from cleaning, shelving, or working the cash register. He strongly believes in helping in where he can, even if it means having to ask for produce codes every two minutes from fellow cashiers while he takes over a check out lane. (As an aside, Dave can receive an average of 70 pages a day to come to the front of the store for assistance.)
“Every time I walk in the store Dave is always helping someone — either one of his staff or a community member. He goes above and beyond to help people out,” family/school liaison worker Shawn Carr says.
And help out Dave does. He and Nester’s Market have supported many organizations in town, including the Mount Temple IODE, BanffLIFE, Banff YWCA, Banff Child Care Centre, Banff Food Bank, Melissa’s Road Race, Santa’s Anonymous, Banff Elementary School, and Banff Community High School.
Championing these community causes is just one of the rewarding parts of the job for Dave, though. He also enjoys getting to know his employees and costumers. Particularly when these worlds collide and the kids he’s watched grow up in the community eventually become staff at the grocery store.
“Twenty years ago locals would bring in their little babies and now those little babies are working for me — it’s a lot of fun,” Dave says. “It’s also fun getting to know about employees from all around the world.”
When he’s not working at the store, he can be found golfing in the summer and curling in the winter. He also spends as much time with his wife Jeanne, kids Douglas and Lisa, and granddaughter Sarah.
“Running into Dave is always a pleasant experience,” says Banffite Margaret Riordon. “Staff report he is a wonderful boss that always has the best interest of his staff at heart. He is family-oriented and is especially proud of his granddaughter.”