Sanj Sadhir

Sanj Sadhir

Houston mayor says town will get new grocery store, hopefully soon

The doors are open until later this month, but apparently there will be no new food shipments coming into the SuperValu in Houston.

The doors are open until later this month, but apparently there will be no new food shipments coming into the SuperValu in Houston. The shelves are almost empty.

Houston Mayor Shane Brienen is optimistic a new grocery store will come to town, although it may be several months, even after a decision is made, before it could open.

“It will not stay this way,” he said. “We are a decent sized community at about the 4,000 mark, and we don’t foresee a difficulty in getting a store in the area. There seems to be lots of interest. There are three, possibly four chains looking, and a couple of independents and a few local groups.”

Sanj Sadhir, the owner of BV Foods in Houston, is one of the local interests thinking through how to resolve the community’s grocery needs. As a longtime resident, he’s upset at the interruption in service, and as an entrepreneur he believes there is an opportunity to bring in better service.

“Even five years ago if someone had said to me that our main grocery store was shutting down I would have said that was unbelievable,” said Sadhir. “There had been rumours for a while but essentially this came without warning.”

As a local food store owner, he has already responded to local needs. He’s bringing in frozen meat and talking with local suppliers about bringing in fresh meat. He’s noticed an increase in his dairy sales and some other items, but some steady selling products like tobacco are decreasing, possibly because people are stocking up when they shop out of town. He said he will continue to look for ways to improve what’s available.

“We need to explore these things,” he said. “You can’t go to Smithers or Burns Lake to buy your bananas or apples for a whole week. And you can’t go there for other basic items (when you need one or two small things at a time). I am doing the best I can with the limited space I have now.”

Brienen said he has no word on the timing for a decision. He said there is a lot going on in the background, and that includes c o n v e r s a t i o n s between the Town and the Mall owners about existing lease agreements with Loblaws. Options for a new grocery store include building a new store or moving into the existing SuperValu space. Either way, it appears Houston residents will be waiting a while.

“If somebody were coming in to build a store it would for sure be a while. And there would be a significant amount of renovation needed if somebody were to move into the mall,” said Brienen.

Sadhir echoes Brienen’s thoughts that it could take some time. “This is an opportunity for positive change,” he said. “But even if somebody was to go in (to the existing SuperValu) tomorrow, they would need four to five months for renovations of that existing store. Because I don’t think there was much done since the building was built. So a lot the equipment would need to be updated.”

Re s p o n d i n g to advice from economist Michael Shuman not to go with another chain, Brienen said, “I don’t know if a chain is better than an independent. You would think a chain would have better purchasing power. But I have also heard that independents can do very well, so I have heard both sides.”



Just Posted

Jill Mackenzie carefully replaces books on the shelves at the Houston Public Library. (Angelique Houlihan photo)
District approves annual library grant

Craft kits featured for summer reading club

The tradition of Houston Christian School grads giving Bibles to incoming kindergarten students will take place this year, but outdoors and in a modified fashion. (File photo)
Houston Christian School grad day is June 24

Grads themselves have set tone for the day, says teacher

Scott Richmond will be starting as the new vice principal for HSS and TSE. (Submitted/Houston Today)
Houston gets a new vice principal

Scott Richmond takes over from Dwayne Anderson who moved to Smithers

A Pacific Salmon Foundation grant of $3,000 is going towards the tree plantations. (Cindy Verbeek photo/Houston Today)
550 trees planted in Houston through A Rocha

Houston Christian School students and volunteers help with the tree planting

Currently the Houston station has 16 paramedics, two ambulances and one community paramedic vehicle. (File photo)
Retirement of longtime paramedics worries Houston community

“No loss of service,” assures BC Emergency Health Services

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Most Read