A new grocery store is coming to Victoria and bringing along new jobs for the community.
Urban Grocer, a mid-sized community grocery store will open its doors at Oak Bay Avenue and Fort Street – the Oak Bay Junction – and is hiring for up to 40 new positions including assistant department managers, produce, clerks, cashiers and administrative staff.
The 10,000 square foot store is undergoing renovations at the moment but its location, at 1625 Fort St., was formerly a post office. Nearly 60 years earlier it was home to a Safeway store.
General manager Shawn Fahr said he wants community members to come to the store and feel welcome. He said they want to impact the community and leave their mark.
“We’re really going to promote ‘neighbourism’,” Fahr said. “We don’t want to be a larger store or a convenience store … it’s going to be a place where you feel comfortable.”
The Urban Grocer plans to be a locally-minded community grocer with local produce and a deli with in-house chef creations. Fahr said they plan on donating a portion of sales directly to community charitable groups as well.
Urban Grocer owner Leigh Large is part of the family that founded the Country Grocer chain which is on Vancouver Island and Salt Spring Island. The same team is behind the Vessel Liquor Store.
Fahr said the location is special to Large.
“He remembers riding his wagon to the original Safeway, accompanying his mother for the weekly grocery shop in the 1940s.”
Fahr himself started off in the grocery industry at age 16 collecting buggies, and worked for Save-On-Foods for more than 12 years. He said they’ve been working hard to ensure proper protocols are in place to keep customers and staff safe as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
“Our goal is to delight customers by creating a true community hub where employees know your name and you feel comfortable getting to know me as your neighbourhood grocer,” Fahr said. “We will take pride in building relationships, being instrumental in feeding local families at great prices, and contributing to the surrounding community.”
Urban Grocer is projected to open in July. More information about the store and jobs can be found at urban-grocer.ca.