Bed­eque Vil­lage Store soon to be res­i­dence; com­mu­nity mem­bers up­set

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - THE ISLAND - BY MIL­LI­CENT MCKAY

For years, the Bed­eque Vil­lage Store has been a com­mu­nity sta­ple. But now, win­dows are cov­ered and the store is no longer open.

Don MacFar­lane, one of the com­mu­nity’s mu­nic­i­pal coun­cil­lors, said it’s been in the com­mu­nity for over 100 years.

“A lot of peo­ple are up in arms about its clos­ing,” he said.

Ear­lier this year, MacFar­lane asked the cur­rent owner, Erik Ger­lund, when it was open­ing. He was told soon. But then it was pushed to an­other date. Now it’s be­ing ren­o­vated into a house for Ger­lund and his mom.

“It’s been a fig­ure in the com­mu­nity that ev­ery­one knows,” said MacFar­lane.

The Jour­nal Pi­o­neer reached out to Ger­lund mul­ti­ple times for com­ments, but went unan­swered. He is cur­rently in Bri­tish Columbia.

Ja­son Luce, a fel­low Bed­eque res­i­dent, said the vil­lage store was a key lo­ca­tion in his child­hood.

“I re­mem­ber as kid, my friends and I would hop on our bikes or walk down to the store for a treat or some­thing to drink. I even re­mem­ber when it used to have gaso­line. It’s al­ways been a great spot.”

The orig­i­nal build­ing was built in 1900 but was later de­stroyed in a fire. The cur­rent build­ing set up shop in 1938.

“The thing to do was al­ways, ‘let’s go down to the Vil­lage store’.”

Ger­lund pur­chased the store in mid-2016. He planned to ren­o­vate it, giv­ing it a “five-and­dime” kind of feel, as well as re­open­ing the store’s kitchen.

In a pre­vi­ous in­ter­view with the Jour­nal Pi­o­neer, Ger­lund said it was a dream of his to open an old-style vil­lage store.

Luce says it’s up­set­ting that the store will not be re­open­ing.

“It’s a big in­con­ve­nience that

the store won’t be around. A lot of peo­ple don’t work within this com­mu­nity, so if they for­get to pick some­thing up while they’re in town, they could al­ways stop in at the store.”

The Vil­lage Store also acted as a post of­fice.

“Now any­thing big­ger than what can fit in our mail­box will force us to go to Sum­mer­side or Al­bany.”

It’s weird to see the build­ing and know it’s not the store any­more, he added.

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