Freson Market Ltd. began on October 20, 1955 when Frank Lovsin opened a butcher shop with his two partners, Frank Resek and Frank’s father, Leo Resek from Edson, Alberta. The name Freson was derived from a combination of the letters in the respective partner’s names. The letter “F” in Frank, the letters “RES” in Resek and the “IN” in Lovsin were put together to form the name “FRESIN”. The bank manager at the time however, misspelled the name on the company documents, nobody argued the proper spelling, hence the name Freson Market Ltd. was born.
The first butcher shop was in Hinton, Alberta and the cost of the building was $2700. The original building was built on skids and was on a thirty day ground rent policy. It was 24 feet wide and 30 feet long with a power plant in the back.
Frank Lovsin was the only employee at the start. The first full time employee was Natalka Luchka and the first part time employee was Jack Kilba. Frank’s brother Joe started in the summer of 1956. In October of 1956, Pete Chalick Sr. was hired and became a long standing partner of Freson Market Ltd. Dan Lovsin, Frank’s youngest brother started in 1958 and is still remains a senior partner.
In 1962, Frank wanted to expand his horizons and look for another town that he might be able to do business in. After one delayed attempt, the downtown IGA in Peace River, Alberta was built. Frank Resek moved from Edson to Hinton to manage the store. In 1962, Dan Lovsin came to Peace River to help Frank with the new venture but it was not long before they were expanding again, taking Dan to Fairview to run that newly acquired store.
As the company grew, the demands of being a store manager and overseeing the entire operation was too much. Frank left managing a store and became General Manager of Freson Market Ltd. Bev Tansem helped Frank perform the administrative duties while Frank planned, developed and oversaw the operation of all stores. As the company continued to expand, more administrative and office personnel were added. The office currently employs 8 full time clerks, one accountant, 3 computer technicians, a director of operations, a information technology manager, human resource manager and a training and development manager. Mike Lovsin, Frank’s son is president of Freson Market Ltd. with Frank being Chairman of the Board.
Through the years, Freson Market has adapted and changed from its humble beginning almost 50 years ago. The company has welcomed the changes proactively and even today continues to evolve and keep pace with the ever changing grocery industry. From keeping up with the pace of technology to competing with large supermarket chains to continually training the employee base of nearly 1000 employees, Freson Market continues to thrive. This success can be attributed to the commitment to providing quality products, good value, a clean shopping environment and outstanding customer service. The emphasis on the customer and the ability to adapt to the ever-changing grocery landscape will enable Freson Market to remain a vanguard in the industry.
The company continued to expand through the years and more stores were acquired. The growth of the company is outlined below:
Hinton Hill – 1955
Fairview – 1964
High Prairie – 1966
Brooks – 1972
Swan City – Grande Prairie – 1974
Hinton Valley – 1976
Manning – 1978
Hanna – 1981
Southview – Grande Prairie – 1982
Barrhead – 1986
Fox Creek – 1989
Drumheller – 1990
Supercenter – Peace River – 1993
Lakeview – Calgary – Sold in 2007
Valleyview – 2008
Stony Plain – 2008