Nadia Jubinville builds legal function to support exponential growth at Goodfood Market

Meal-kit delivery company is the fastest growing company in Canada

Nadia Jubinville builds legal function to support exponential growth at Goodfood Market
Nadia Jubinville

When Nadia Jubinville joined Goodfood Market Corp., she had her work cut out to establish a legal function from the ground up, while simultaneously supporting a significant expansion. Business has boomed for the Montreal-based meal-kit delivery company since the start of the pandemic, as lockdowns, quarantines and restaurant closures have forced people to seek alternatives to meal planning.

In fact, Goodfood landed a spot in the top three on the Financial Times’ 2021 list of fastest growing companies in the Americas, and is the top company for growth in Canada. The company reported quarterly revenues of more than $100 million in February – an increase of $41 million year-over-year. Goodfood, which launched in 2014, specializes in delivering meal-kits across Canada consisting of fresh ingredients for specific recipes. The company also offers ready-to-eat meals, and groceries.

Jubinville made the move to Goodfood after four years at Solotech where she also established the legal function and supported a major growth plan. 

“I realised I wanted to work for a company that is pandemic proof, but at the same time it is a disruptor because it’s helping families get food on the table and changing the world every day,” says Jubinville who joined Goodfood in Jan. 2021, as VP, legal affairs, general counsel and corporate secretary. “It’s not just a company with a great, innovative business model, but it’s also a company that is doing a lot of good.”

Jubinville manages all legal matters, including financing, commercial, procurement, employment matters, privacy and legal disclosures for the public company.

As Goodfood Market grows, she supports the expansion by managing legal matters relating to construction projects and lease agreements, as well as raising financing.  

Having just established a new legal function in recent months, Jubinville’s strategy is to bring a very proactive and practical approach to the business team at Goodfood, so that all business units have a clear understanding of the need to involve legal.

“When I join a new company, I want to quickly raise legal awareness within the business group so that they really see the legal team as an integral part of every project and every deal, so they call on us before something happens, and not after,” she says. “I try to summarize legal issues in a business way to make sure that the CEO or any executive with whom I’m working really sees that I get the business issue, and I propose practical legal solutions to eliminate risk or mitigate it as much as possible.”

On the governance front, Jubinville is currently working with the management team at Goodfood to create a formal ESG program which includes reporting and communicating goals to stakeholders. Other plans for the year ahead include further developing the use of technology in the legal department, with a focus on electronic signatures, artificial intelligence, contract management platforms and automation for lower-risk contracts.

Jubinville recently expanded her solo legal department by hiring one other lawyer, and she plans to further expand the team in the months ahead to manage the increasing workload as the company grows. She currently works with external counsel partners in a number of areas.

“Outside counsel have been really supportive of my arrival and they helped me set up the foundation,” says Jubinville. “Eventually we will try to do as much as possible in-house, but we will continue to consult with external counsel for very technical matters that require specific expertise, or when we don’t have the bandwidth in-house.”

Planning ahead to 2022, one of Jubinville’s priorities is to incorporate a legal operations function into her team, to further enhance efficiency. Privacy and ESG will also be top of mind for Jubinville next year as she anticipates tremendous changes in laws and in disclosure requirements in those areas.

“I really want to have an agile and efficient legal team, and ultimately I hope that the team will have fun,” says Jubinville. “Goodfood wants to be the Amazon of food so it’s very exciting to be a part of that.”

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