FreshCo opens in downtown Vernon tomorrow | Vernon News | iNFOnews

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FreshCo opens in downtown Vernon tomorrow

June 17, 2020 - 11:15 AM

After seven months under construction, Vernon's FreshCo grocery store is set to open its doors tomorrow, June18.

The downtown Vernon store sits on the site of the former Safeway on 30 Avenue, which closed its doors last November after 54 years in business.

A press release from FreshCo says the store is owned and operated by local franchisee, Sean Watson, and will employ a team of 118 people.

The store is working to source locally and will carry produce from local farms across the region, the company says, including underground Kombucha made by Vernon's Martens Brewing Company.

"During this critical time, FreshCo is focused on providing the community with another option to shop, for the essential food and pharmacy necessities they require for their families," reads the release.

The supermarket is taking measures during COVID-19, including the introduction of a senior shopping hour from 7 to 8 a.m. daily, and sanitizing carts and other high touch surfaces constantly during the day. Staff will be required to wash their hands every 15 minutes.

The supermarket will also be donating $2,500 to the nearby Schubert Centre to support seniors in the community.

The supermarket's parent company Sobeys launched the FreshCo brand in 2010 as a cheaper alternative grocery store. The company originally announced it would be converting 25 per cent of underperforming Safeway store into FreshCo's over several years.

The conversion to Freshco was met with criticism from the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1518 who said last year who said the majority of Safeway employees who continued to work at Sobeys would be doing so with a major pay cut.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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