Mal Coven

Mal Coven, the son of Jewish immigrants from the Russian empire, grew up in Mattapan, a working-class neighbourhood of Boston. His education in business began with his father, a custom peddler who walked door to door and floor to floor, selling merchandise and extending credit to fellow immigrants in Boston. He is a graduate of the renowned Boston Latin School and Boston College. Coven went from stock boy to boys’ buyer at Filene’s, “The World’s Largest Specialty Store,” in Boston.

In 1961, he got really lucky when his brother-in-law Abe Fish in Toronto invited him to become a partner in two stores that were to lead to the successful Biway discount chain. He lives in Toronto.

How I Succeeded in Retirement and the
Biway Story

Mal Coven

 

The story of Mal Coven the family man, the businessman, and the entrepreneur for whom retirement from the Biway has meant pursuing original entrepreneurial ideas — as well as brushing up against and corresponding with celebrities Barbara Walters, Larry King, Nancy Sinatra, Jackie Mason, Bud Selig, Mort Zuckerman, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., and others.

Coven reveals the secrets behind his and Abe Fish’s founding and development of the Biway, a hugely successful discount chain that predated the coming of Wal-Mart to Canada. During their 28-year tenure, the Biway grew to 249 stores across eight provinces, delivering quality merchandise at low markups and low prices never before seen in a chain store in the country.

Interwoven throughout are stories of the author’s many passions, including breakfasts with “the Knights of the Round Bagel,” following the Toronto Blue Jays, and cultivating his taste for smoked meat, hot dogs, and other fun foods.

“Mal Coven is ‘The Determinator’ — a man who achieves what he seeks and succeeds at what he does. He’s a winner in business and life.”
—PAUL V. GODFREY, President and CEO, Postmedia Network

“Coven is a great storyteller. Read this book for fun and knowledge about retailing. It can’t miss!”
—LEONARD SIMPSON, Chairman, Town Shoes Limited

$32.50 CAD / $32.50 USD / £20.95 GBP

440 pages

ISBN 978-1-926645-85-8

Available now from:

Amazon.com (U.S.)
Amazon.ca (Canada)
Amazon.co.uk (UK)