“Just Scratching the Surface”
Ian and Rochelle Ashcroft, of Ashcroft’s Supa IGA, have been chosen out of 1,400 store owners across the country to be the face of IGA’s national campaign, a video with the theme ‘Celebrate the Great Aussie Local’.
The two were chosen in recognition of their continued commitment to the local community as IGA owners.
In the video Ian shares his five secrets to living a happy, healthy, successful life. His story tells how he and his wife Rochelle, are dedicated to making an impact on the community around them.
This led us to dig a little deeper into the life of Ian and Rochelle. Most of the community, if not all, know of the great work they do whether it be within their ‘Let’s Make Better charity’ or the ‘Community Chest’, even becoming a familiar, friendly and trusted face in our Orange IGA stores over the last 30 years (their longevity an effort in itself).
“It’s a bit daunting knowing the video will be showed on social media, the cinemas and tv,” Ian explained, “During filming, we talked about a lot of things over one’s life, and they honed in on five things specifically, it was quite personal and opened us up a bit as to how we live. We do feel special to be chosen, we don’t do what we do to get any acknowledgement or recognition. I think it certainly is a privilege for us and it emphasises to us that we are doing the right thing.”
“What we have learnt is there are a lot of people who need a lot of help, and for me, I watch what Rochelle does and I think there are so many people who do really good work, in every community around Australia, without the volunteers, charities, and people who give back, the country would be stuffed.”
Ian spoke highly of the Orange community, ensuring he was surprised just how generous people were and how easily they were willing to give. Not only recognised for their charity work, they have seen several team members recognised and also win awards for their efforts.
Ian continued, “We enjoy making a difference to where we live and to people who work for us, it’s the whole making a difference to people’s lives, we would hope that they have a good experience and have had a good time, it’s hard to say that we’ve had one moment that’s stood out to us.
Rochelle explained, “We’ve had so many moments, for me, whether it be at Riding for Disabled or with the kids from the Rainbow Club, you think to yourself it’s so nice to be a part of this in a small way.”
“We were at a conference overseas, we thought we were going out to this farm for another team building activity. We were racing around and building bikes when we all finished, they said stop and hold up your number, we had no idea what was going on and they said it’s not a team building event, we have 50 orphan children who are hiding in the shed, you find your number with your child and you give them the bike.
These kids have never owned a bike before, they rode around on the dirt and they just loved it, every one of us was crying, every man, every woman, at the end of the day we just sat back and thought how good did that feel.”
Looking at Ian, Rochelle added, “I get goose bumps telling that story, that was one of the moments where we thought we can really make a difference.”
Ian continued, “It has been a fantastic journey, we live a very privileged life with our business and being able to give back and feel good, it’s really just scratching the surface to be honest. We live and breathe it every day, there is so much need in our community, (the rest of Australia is another story) I think we have to go back to giving people the tools of making their lives work not just giving them band aids all the time.
“As IGA we can provide a vehicle for the community to lend a hand and help, the community is as a part of it as what we are. We are mindful of what our goals are but the measure of achieving our goals is when people are telling us what our goal was without us telling them.”
“The journey so far just makes us want to do more, Rochelle added, In continuing, it’s important to not lose sight of what we have set up, people trust the charity, they drop off money, food, products, knowing that we do what we say, they know we will deliver it exactly to where it should go, 100%.”
Following an informal meeting with the Ashcroft’s around two years ago, to talk about their newspaper advertising, it became very obvious to me that these two people were not your average business owners. What started as a meeting to talk about advertising ended up a meeting talking about how we could combine our resources to make Orange a better place. Since that meeting, Ian and Rochelle and myself have set out to do just that, and we’ve done it in a number of ways. Here’s not the place to be specific, enough to say that through the Ashcroft’s friendship and support, we have been able to help or encourage a lot of people in a lot of different ways. Both of us use our businesses for good, and it is very satisfying. In our case, it could never have happened without the Ashcroft’s having the hearts they do, or putting their money where their mouth is. Bob Holland.