By Mike Baker
Following months of renovations at Haliburton’s Foodland, the store is set to host a grand reopening this coming Thursday, June 24.
Local owner Brad Park is excited to show off his new upgraded space to the community.
“This renovation is something that has been in my sight, and in Sobey’s [head office] sight for quite some time now. The idea was to give the store a whole new facelift,” Park told the Echo. “With the renovation we were able to bring in a whole new décor package, new equipment and some new programs. There’s been new freezers installed, new coolers, new bunkers. It’s been a huge overhaul, basically.”
The last of the work – new flooring across much of the store – will be completed early this week.
While many residents have already noticed, and complimented, some of the aesthetic changes, Park says the most popular additions have been the store’s new fried chicken program and fresh sushi bar.
“We’re not even a full month into the sushi program, but it’s been insane to say the least. Our chef, Roy, [has struggled] to keep up with the demand. He’s on-site a lot, and makes all of his sushi fresh,” Park said. “I haven’t heard one negative thing about the sushi counter – except for when it’s empty!”
Given that the store has remained open throughout the renovation, Park thanked both his staff and the community for their patience as work progressed. The project got underway in early April and was expected to be finished within a few weeks, but, as with most things over the past 16 months, the COVID-19 pandemic threw a spanner into the works.
This project marks the first extensive renovation since Foodland was built in 2000. The store received some minor upgrades in 2013. All costs for this latest project were covered by the corporate office, Park noted.
Now that most of the work has been completed, many residents have commented about how the store feels bigger.
“It’s definitely a fresh new look, but most of the feedback I’ve heard from customers – they all say that they think the store has gotten bigger. Obviously the footprint hasn’t changed, but we’ve moved things around, we cut four feet off every aisle and that helped us gain space horizontally,” Park said. “We managed to pull off getting more things into the aisles, but also opening up the front of the store. There’s so much more room now.”
There will be a special ceremony on Thursday marking the grand reopening, where Park will be making a presentation to Point in Time for $1,000 to support the organization’s programming.