Down on the corner

Pukatawagan’s The Northern Store shelters winter shoppers

COVID-19 protocols and restrictions are often resulting in line-ups outside of retail locations as restrictions limit the number of people allowed into stores at one time. The Northern Store in Pukatawgan, Manitoba has come up with a creative way to keep its’ shoppers sheltered on chilly winter days as they line up outside to get into the store.
“The very thought of standing in line outdoors during a cold winter day can give us the chills,” states a post on the Facebook page of The North West Company. Staff at The Northern Store, which is part of The North West Company, decided to help their fellow community members by installing two portable carport shelters end-to-end outside the store, providing a sheltered area for shoppers to wait in line.

This innovative solution came about after customers approached Northern Store manager Lisa Genaille regarding the situation. Carports have been chained and locked together and tied to the railing of the store’s front steps to prevent them from blowing away. Social distancing protocols are followed as the space is five or six feet wide with markings made from food colouring in the snow to help customers continue to keep a safe distance apart.
“We have received positive feedback,” says Genaille. “We’re grateful to our community members for trusting us with their concerns. We’re always looking out for their well-being.”

Michael Osborne, director of sales and operations, Central II District, The North West Company expresses pride and appreciation for initiative taken by Genaille and her team and their commitment to their customers.
“As we were listening to the elders request to build a shelter, it was not practical to have a construction team come to the community during COVID so we brainstormed the idea up of a portable shelter,” says Osborne. “It was fairly easy to assemble and would keep the community members out of the bad weather. We are going into our sixth week of operation with the shelter and people really appreciate the shield against the wind and snow while waiting to shop. Unfortunately, with the capacity guidelines put in place, the Northern Store can only have 12 customers at a time so this shelter is essential to keep people protected.”

Some comments received from customers of The Northern Store in Pukatawgan:
Wow, this is a great idea Northern had keeping the elders out of the wind and snow while waiting for their turn to shop.

This is a great idea that Northern had, makes perfect sense to do this for the community.


Rabba Fine Foods joined industry-wide effort to deliver food to hungry kids

Company participated in the Toonies for Tummies program, Feb. 4 to 18, 2021, as part of its Rabba Roots program

Rabba Fine Foods, the GTA’s neighborhood market, continues its annual Toonies for Tummies program to help fund nutritious meals for school-aged children across Canada. First introduced by The Grocery Foundation in 1979, the annual program has raised more than $90 million to date for the cause. Until February 18, Rabba personnel invited customers to consider donations at point of purchase with the company prepared to top off the final amount with a donation from its Rabba Roots Community Program.

“Food insecurity is an extremely important issue, especially in our regions,” says Rick Rabba, president and CEO of Rabba Fine Foods. “It’s become even more pressing over the past year and we’re doing everything we can to be present for our neighbours when they need us most. We’re grateful for the work of The Grocery Foundation and are pleased to support them once more.”

Rabba first participated in Toonies for Tummies in 2015 and, after six years, the company and its customers have raised close to $30,000 for the program to date.



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