Staff at the Beaverton Foodland are getting ready to close up shop for the final time.
With the Simcoe Street store set to be vacated by the end of the month, remaining stock has been reduced by as much as 50 percent.
The closure, which could come in a matter of days, was confirmed in late January.
“The owner wants to sell the property, so we have to vacate – there’s nothing we could change,” said store manager Robert Longhurst in an interview at the time.
“We’ve done our best to provide for the community and look after our customers. We’ll definitely miss them.”
Those sentiments were echoed in a statement from Sobey’s (parent company of Foodland).
“Beaverton Foodland is proud to have served the residents of Beaverton and the surrounding community for many years. We greatly appreciate the loyalty and support that our customers have shown for the store and our team and we remain committed to continue serving the community through our Brechin and Cannington Foodland locations,” it reads.
“The landlord for the building has advised us that Beaverton Foodland can no longer lease the property as they have decided to sell the property vacant…Until then, we will continue to provide our customers with the same great service they are used to. We are committed to working closely with the 21 employees as they transition to new career opportunities.”
Members of township council broke news of the store’s closure after receiving a letter from company officials.
“We had heard rumours. Now that it’s in writing it’s official,” said Mayor Debbie Bath-Hadden.
“It’s very unfortunate. Let’s hope whatever will open there can support the jobs lost,” added Ward 1 Councillor Mike Jubb.
As the only grocery store in the village proper, the closure will most certainly present a challenge for residents without transportation.
“I am shocked and disappointed with the news that the Beaverton Foodland is closing its doors. I believe that having a grocery store in our downtown core is essential to meeting the needs of all our residents. I hope that we can find a way to work together with the community partners to find a solution,” said Ward 2 Councillor Claire Doble at the time.
According to Mayor Bath-Hadden, Durham Transit will likely begin regular trips out to Fisher’s Your Independent Grocer in early April.
“We’re just working out the final hiccups,” she said.
Until that happens, Coun. Jubb and Coun. Doble will be co-ordinating volunteer efforts to help residents without transportation fulfill their grocery needs.
“With the Foodland closure, we have been working aggressively to have an on-demand shuttle service available for those that need it. Many volunteers are in place from all areas of Beaverton, Gamebridge and surrounding areas,” Jubb said.
“This will fill the void until Durham Region Transit can hopefully finalize plans to provide a regular bus out to the Independent. Our mayor has been working tirelessly on that aspect. At the end of the day, hopes remain strong that the building will be sold and a similar tenant provide service. Fingers crossed.”