Meet Greg Roberts:
the man behind the magic of Mary Brown’s
Passion for the Brand
Greg Roberts, the CEO and sole owner of Mary Brown’s Chicken & Taters, is soft spoken and easy to talk to – the kind of person you’d enjoy chatting with over dinner. Especially if you’re serving Mary Brown’s. He’s incredibly passionate about this brand – how far it’s come and where he plans to take it in the future.
Greg was born and raised on Triton Island in Green Bay, central Newfoundland; he is one of 11 children. His father died when Greg was a young boy, but not before instilling in him the importance of working hard, putting customers first and always giving back. His father operated a small service station where going the extra mile to help a customer was simply how they did business. Greg’s grandfather and great-grandfather were also small business owners. He credits their legacy for his work ethic and entrepreneurship.
Accolades and Achievements
Roberts was named one of 'Canada's Top 40 under 40' in 2011 and Entrepreneur of the Year in 2008. He's been the recipient of the 'Chartered Accountants Early Achievement Award' and numerous others.
Committed to personal excellence and continuous development for himself and his people, Greg is a member of the exclusive Young Presidents Organization. Each year he joins other leading CEOs from around the world at Harvard Business School for study and seminars. These sessions help form the foundation of Mary Brown's strategy, operational tactics and brand evolution.
Education and Early Years
Greg has a Bachelor of Commerce from Memorial University of Newfoundland and is a Chartered Accountant and CPA.
Roberts decided public accounting wasn’t his calling early in his career, so in 1998 he bought a tiny gas station on Pilley’s Island in rural Newfoundland with $20,000 he borrowed from his brother. With tenacity and diligence, he also managed to buy a pharmacy and other retail businesses in the area, including several pizza parlours. Shortly after he discovered Mary Brown’s – the start of a beautiful and successful relationship. In all his business ventures, Greg has been hands-on, working all the roles, understanding the importance of every person, every job, every contribution to success.
Roberts’ first Mary Brown’s franchise was in Springdale, NL; from there he picked up three more. In 2007, Greg Roberts bought the Mary Brown’s brand and company. He saw Mary Brown’s tremendous potential. He had a big picture strategy. Under his leadership, it’s becoming a reality.
Respect, Devotion and Excellence
Greg believes strongly in community engagement and getting involved in the towns where Mary Brown's stores are located. Delivering hospitality to every Guest and high store standards are his driving force. He invests heavily in training, people development and building a culture of respect, always leading by example.
With over 130 stores across Canada and 20 opening in the next year, clearly Greg's approach is working. Mary Brown’s Famous Chicken & Taters is Canada’s fastest-growing franchise. “The brand is really taking off. It’s a great product, with a recipe that’s Made Fresh from Scratch™. The others simply can’t touch us on this,” says Roberts.
Undercover Boss Canada
A few years back, Roberts appeared on “Undercover Boss Canada,” a reality television show. “I met loyal, hardworking staff working in Mary Brown's across Canada. It was a humbling experience,” he says. Roberts' generosity was evident on the show and continues today. Greg believes strongly in community support. In fact, he insists that Mary Brown’s Franchisees get involved in their neighbourhoods and towns, helping worthwhile causes and becoming entrenched in their communities. Greg’s father would be proud.
“So far, so good,” says the always modest Roberts.
Frankly, we think Greg Roberts and Mary Brown’s are just getting started!