Council, chamber lobby for grocery store

Bigway Foods closed in McLennan a few months ago. Efforts arebeing made to open another store to serve the region.

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

The recent closure of Bigway Foods in McLennan has prompted local residents and elected officials to find a way to replace the town’s only grocery store.
The best way might be to form a co-op, so council asked New Horizons Co-op in Grande Prairie about the matter in a letter Sept. 16.
“We feel Co-op would be a store that would be suitable for the Town of McLennan and surrounding communities,” wrote CAO Lorraine Willier on behalf of council.
She added the owner of the former location of Bigway was willing to lease space in the building.
Council received a negative response they did not want to hear at its Oct. 12 meeting
“Too bad,” said Councillor Marie-Anne Jones.
She immediately suggested sending a letter to Freson Bros. to gauge interested in locating in McLennan.
“Get as many feelers out there as we can,” said Councillor Sue Delaurier.
Council agreed to send the letter.
The matter was also discussed at the meeting by council and McLennan Chamber of Commerce president Daniel Labrecque, who presented a list of ideas. Although preliminary, it was a place to start discussion.
After speaking with local residents, Labrecque also suggested a small co-op store with not too much overhead. A co-op involves area residents to buy in as shareholders. Several locations were discussed although Labrecque favoured a location where shoppers could also get mail and do their banking.
Labrecque noted the project would not be easy given the recent failure of Bigway.
“It took awhile to go downhill so it could take awhile to go uphill,” he said.
Council saw the proposal as a starting point.
“How can we get together with the chamber and work on this?” asked Delaurier.
Council agreed to meet with Labrecque before the council meeting Nov. 9 and move the project forward.

Share this post