5. Brandt C. Louie (Burnaby, B.C.)
H. Y. Louie Co. Ltd.
After abbreviated careers in medicine and law, CEO Brandt Louie’s sons Stuart and Greg have returned to the family business, an empire launched by their grandfather in 1903 with the opening of Hok Yat Louie general store in Vancouver. The family’s holdings now employ 8,000 and include the London Drugs chain—which did an estimated $2 billion in business last year, tripling online sales after a revamp of its website—and IGA grocery stores. With the IGA brand facing tough competition in the turbulent retail market, the company has focused on sprucing it up. A new brand, Fresh St. Market, located in West Vancouver, targets fussy organics-loving shoppers, and some tired IGA stores are being revived under this banner. In March, Louie, a philanthropist who is known to make donations without attaching his name to them, was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the University of Victoria’s Gustavson School of Business.