Co-op opens great new store in Masset

  • Oct. 5, 2007 5:00 p.m.

It wasn’t quite a stampede, but the line-up was a couple of hundred people long and the interest intense, as Delmas Co-op opened its new grocery store in Masset last Wednesday and held a big sale at the same time. The 16,500 square foot, $3-million facility took almost one full year to build, and increases the size of the Co-op’s grocery store by a full 40-percent. “Our new food floor will offer our many Co-op members and customers the utmost in shopping convenience, selection atmosphere and service,” said General Manager Richard Clarmont. On hand at the opening ceremony, along with shoppers chomping at the bit, was the president of the entire Co-op organization, Glen Tully from Manitoba. “It is my pleasure to join with you to celebrate today,” Mr. Tully said, “What a great new store!” He said co-operatives exist solely to serve their members and are about people in communities. “The real congratulations go to you, the members,” he said. Masset Mayor Barry Pages said it was a great day for the islands. “On behalf of the Village of Masset, I want to thank all the staff and board of directors past and present to get this open. Congratulations!” “Thank you very much for all you did today,” Elizabeth Moore, Chief Councillor of Old Massett told the crowd, “when I first walked into the Co-op, I thought I was in the Safeway in Vancouver. I am just really happy with this new store.”Chief Iljuuwaas-Reynold Russoffered a brief history of the Co-op in the north end, noting it started in Old Massett and later moved to Masset. “We have a long connection with the Masset Co-op,” he said, adding that a survey some years ago showed that most of the money earned in Old Massett ends up in New Masset. He said he worked as a construction overseer on the old building, and this time around, it was his son’s turn to do the same thing on the new one. And he said it was Sam Simpson who suggested the name ‘Delmas’, a contraction of Delkatlah and Masset. Delmas Co-op President Glen Fahlman said it gave him great pleasure to speak at the opening, thanked many of the people involved in the construction, and said “we have a big city store waiting for you that we can all be proud of.” Then it was time for the doors to open, and the crowd jammed the store, shopping for bargains such as 10 lbs of flour for $3.99, and creating a line up behind the cash registers that lasted and lasted. The store features wide aisles, a bakery and deli and some blown-up photos from the Masset and Old Massett area found in the provincial archives. The store was some six years in the planning, and construction took almost exactly a year.