New co-op store opens in POV
Two weeks after fire levels building, it’s nearly business as usual
Two weeks after Puvirnituq’s co-op store burned to the ground, a temporary store is already open for business.
On Wednesday afternoon, Arnaituk Charlie Sivuaraapik, the namesake and grandson of the local co-op association’s first president, cut a ribbon to officially mark the opening of the new store.
This store replaces a makeshift store that was immediately set up in one of the co-op’s garages following the fire — not that this location discouraged customers and co-op members from shopping, according to co-op board member Aliva Tulugak.
“They own the place, so they came to the garage, with cement floors, and they were buying everything from eggs to juice to toilet paper,” Tulugak said.
As a way of thanking loyal clients, the co-op organized a draw, with prizes that included 205 litres of gasoline and $50 worth of groceries.
Although the new store has four checkouts, Tulugak said a decision has been made to expand the store’s hours from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. to better accommodate customers.
The store will remain in its current location, on one side of the co-op owned community Court House and just across the street from the burned remnants of the former store, until the new shopping centre, slated for construction this autumn, opens at the end of 2002.
Loss of merchandise, equipment and buildings in the May 8 fire will top $3 million.
But with more than $4 million of community money invested in the co-op, Tulugak said there was no hesitation among co-op members to rebuild.
“The building may be down, but the movement is not dead,” Tulugak said.