Store own­ers im­pacted by Bay de Verde fish plant fire

The Compass - - EDITORIAL - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON BUD­GET 2016 ed­i­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Louis and Judy Keats of Bay de Verde know what the lo­cal fish plant means to both the town and the bot­tom line of his busi­ness, the only con­ve­nience store in the com­mu­nity.

Ac­cord­ing to Louis, Ocean View Con­ve­nience gen­er­ates a lot of rev­enue from plant work- ers look­ing to grab a lunch on their break. Last year, crew mem­bers aboard four large boats pur­chased gro­ceries from their store. The fire this month left the Keats deal­ing with a lot of emo­tions. Be­sides own­ing the store for the last 11 years, Louis and Judy are na­tives of Bay de Verde.

“It’s a job to be­lieve this stuff,” Louis, who is also the town’s deputy mayor, told The Com­pass.

He feels deeply for peo­ple in town left with­out work as a re­sult of the fire, with many hav­ing since found po­si­tions at plants in Bri­gus, Old Per­li­can and Win­ter­ton.

He’s also con­cerned about their busi­ness’ fu­ture, not­ing the small town dou­bles in size when the plant is open. Now those plant work­ers will be eat­ing their lunches else­where. The large boats drop­ping off fish won’t be mak­ing trips to Bay de Verde ei­ther.

Last year, the busi­ness had two full-time em­ploy­ees for 30 weeks help­ing the Keats serve cus­tomers. With in­come likely to fall this year, the co-own­ers of Ocean View Con­ve­nience ex­pect they’ll have at least one part-time em­ployee.

Quin­lan Broth­ers has com­mit­ted to re­build­ing the plant, which of­fers some hope busi­ness can re­bound for the Keats. For now though, they might need to make it through a tough spell, given there’s no firm timeline in place for when the com­pany might bring back the plant.

AN­DREW ROBIN­SON PHOTO

Ocean View Con­ve­nience is the only store of its kind in Bay de Verde.

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