James Bay’s beloved store, Niagara Grocery could soon be on the move.
Jennifer McKimmie, co-owner of the store on Niagara Street, said they are looking at other places to move the business.
In August, McKimmie was notified their landlord had listed the building and property next door for sale. The landlord is hoping to sell the two properties together for an estimated $1.3 million.
Since then, she has launched an online fundraising campaign to raise the roughly $250,000 needed to put a downpayment on the property and keep the business running.
But it fell short of the goal, raising just over $3,800 in a month.
“I really didn’t have a solid goal in mind,” McKimmie said. “It was successful in that it brought awareness. There were contributions and also people who stepped forward who wanted to invest in that downpayment as well. That was all really positive.”
Now, the store must look at other avenues, including moving out of the neighbourhood if necessary.
McKimmie said they haven’t had much luck finding properties in James Bay so far.
“I would love to be in James Bay because it’s home for me, but finding space is challenging. There isn’t anything available,” she said, adding she hopes to find a space that’s similar in size to the current building and can preserve the neighbourhood-feel of the store.
“I need to do what’s right for the business. It’s hard to invest any money into this space and bettering this business if we don’t even know if we’re going to be here.”
McKimmie added the business has also taken a hit, with people assuming since the story initially broke, that they had closed their doors.
“That kind of impact is significant,” she said, noting they are still operating as usual.
The business first opened six years ago and has since transformed from a convenience store to a much-loved neighbourhood market.
There is no definitive timeline for the move.