Store owners impacted by Bay de Verde fish plant fire
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.
Ocean View Convenience is the only store of its kind in Bay de Verde.