The landmark 49th Parallel Grocery store in Chemainus has been sold to the Penelakut Tribe. (Photo by Don Bodger)

The landmark 49th Parallel Grocery store in Chemainus has been sold to the Penelakut Tribe. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Penelakut purchases 49th Parallel General Store

Ownership takes effect in early February

The original 49th Parallel Grocery Store in Chemainus has been sold to the Penelakut Tribe.

Situated near the Penelakut/Thetis Island ferry terminal, it became known as the 49th Parallel General Store after the company’s new location opened in Chemainus Village Square. The sale takes effect in early February.

“The property’s been for sale for quite a while actually,” said Peter Richmond, president and chief financial officer of 49th Parallel Grocery. “We’re excited for Penelakut. We think it’ll be a good fit for them.”

The completion of the sale is a bit bittersweet for 49th.

After some 40 years at that location, “it’s the end of an era,” Richmond conceded. “Up to six years ago, it was our primary store.

“It wasn’t an easy decision. These things never are. We have a new store planned in Duncan. We need to reinvest in our grocery stores.”

The 49th Parallel also has another store in Duncan that used to be Bruce’s Grocery many years ago plus modern stores in Ladysmith and Cedar. The older Duncan location will remain after the new store is built there.

The General Store in Chemainus housed an extensive section for Tour de Rock Cops For Cancer garage sale items under the jurisdiction of Ron Neubauer that will have to be moved to another location.

“Tour de Rock fundraising, it’s been wonderful to do that from there,” said Richmond.

The Penelakut Tribe is working on a business plan for the store.

“Our plan is to continue to run a store there,” said band administrator Jim Chisholm. “We’re in the final stages of figuring out what we’re going to have in there.”

He expects it to be a combination of grocery, confectionery and convenience items.

The sale also includes the parking lot behind Chemainus Family Dental.

Chisholm said there’s a whole dynamic behind the sale for the Penelakut.

“Chemainus was traditional territory for the Penelakut,” he explained. “There is a historical tie for Penelakut to that area.

“As far as economic development for our island, we’re limited. We want to increase our economic depth and the place to do it we believe is right across from us in Chemainus.

“We’re going to have a footprint in Chemainus. Hopefully, it’s the first of many.”

Staffing issues are to be determined. Current employees could either remain at the store or take a position offered elsewhere with 49th.

“Nobody will lose any hours or anything,” said Richmond.

Just Posted

Municipality of North Cowichan.
Council acknowledges National Indigenous Peoples Day

Recommendations received for prioritization of the updated Climate Action and Energy Plan

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

North Cowichan’s committee of the whole have rejected staff’s recommendation to limit the use of fireworks to Halloween. (File photo)
North Cowichan rejects limiting fireworks to Halloween

Municipality decides staff recommendation would be unpopular

Flag exhibit is now set up in the Chemainus Valley Museum. (Photo by Val Galvin)
Fibre artists put their unique twists on climate change exhibit

Red Flag warning label affixed to collection now on display at the Chemainus Valley Museum

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

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

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

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased on Vancouver Island

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

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

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

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

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

Most Read