Lone grocery store in Montreal suburb reopens to large fanfare

Click to play video: 'Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue sees sole grocery store reopen'
Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue sees sole grocery store reopen
There was a grand reopening in Sainte-Anne-De-Bellevue by the community's only grocery store, to welcome customers back under new ownership. The beloved store closed suddenly almost five months ago, leaving many residents with nowhere local to shop. Global's Brayden Jagger Haines reports. – May 25, 2023

Nearly five months after closing its doors, the only grocery store in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Que., reopened to large fanfare from residents.

Marché Ami Plus welcomed smiling clients for its first official day Thursday with a handful of eager shoppers waiting at the door upon opening.

Shoppers took pleasure roaming through the familiar aisles of the revamped store, located in Montreal’s West Island.

Many customers were happy to see familiar faces as the majority of staff like Natasha Fillion returned.

“I love seeing the people here. It’s just a nice community, a nice vibe. I grew up with most of these people,” she said smiling.

Last January, bankruptcy closed the former longstanding  Marché Richelieu – the only grocer in the small West Island town.

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Marché Richelieu, which operated under the banner of Metro Inc., had been a staple of the community for 85 years.

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Recently retired, Claude McSween and his wife Lory Vansteene, took up the mantle as new owners in hopes of saving the community store.

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“The customers are important. A store like this is important for the town, for the community,” McSween said.

The store’s sudden closure left dozens of employees out of work and shoppers scrambling to figure out where they could buy groceries close to home.

The closest grocery store in Baie d’Urfe, while it is a five-minute drive, was difficult to get to for the large senior clientele that does not have vehicles.

Making matters worse, the Provigo closed during that time as it is being turned into a Maxi.

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Sainte-Anne residents would have to cross the bridge to buy groceries in neighbouring Île-Perrot.

“It would cost me $5 each way by bus. It would cost me $15 to $20 each way if I took a taxi. It became extremely hard to shop,” resident Bob Calum said.

“I’m glad to have this open for the regular things that I need.”

City councillor Ryan Young said the city “is extremely pleased,”  to see the business up and running again servicing the community.

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