M’Chigeeng celebrates Freshmart expansion and new butcher shop

Butcher Darren Smith stands ready to create custom cuts.

M’CHIGEENG—M’Chigeeng Freshmart has expanded its footprint dramatically, not only expanding its floorspace but adding a new butcher shop to the mix in order to serve its customers better. The grand opening of the new facility was decidedly low-key, due to the community’s ongoing COVID-19 protocols that remain more stringent than those of the province.

“We didn’t want to be creating bottlenecks of large crowds by having speeches and such,” said Kayla Paul, acting store manager.

The new floorspace has expanded into the space formerly occupied by the artisan and business incubation centre.

“The new section sales floor is 1,200 square feet, plus additional preparation areas, walk-in cooler/freezer and office/storage space,” said Ms. Paul.

Over in the new butcher shop, butcher Darren Smith stands ready to provide a range of meat products that include in-store made sausages and which will expand as time goes on. With a butcher on hand, custom cuts become possible.

“We needed to expand the store’s size because we kept being shorted on our orders,” explained Ms. Paul. The small size of the initial store, coupled with the challenges of COVID, despite being popular with its customer base, needed to be expanded to provide the kind of economies of scale and product mix to be fully sustainable.

As an opening celebration prize a RedBull cooler was up for the winning until 6 pm on Friday, with customers who spend $25 or more able to fill out a ballot for a chance to win. The lucky shopper was Arlene McCaffrey. Michelle Taukei won a $150 gift voucher and Eileen Simon won a $100 gift voucher.

Lignum Builders Limited of Espanola were the contractors who undertook the expansion renovations, while the itself design was formulated by the architects of ThirdLine Studios.