Kelowna's One Big Table announces closure after tough year | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna's One Big Table announces closure after tough year

The One Big Table store front in Kelowna is pictured in this photo from Facebook.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK / One Big Table
December 04, 2019 - 11:18 AM

Kelowna’s first community-funded grocery store will close its doors as the new year gets underway.

One Big Table took to Facebook this morning, Dec. 4, and announced imminent closure.

“The reality of a small business is sometimes difficult to accept but one we can be honest about and over the past three years we have welcomed its successes and challenges fully,” a statement posted online reads.

The store opened Sept. 6, 2017, and since then grew to over 1,500 members, won a prestigious Champion for the Environment Business Award at the 2018 Kelowna Civic and Community Awards and generated a remarkable $1 million in sales.

“Perhaps, more importantly, we served our city daily with a service we felt important to further and expand the voice of the local food movement,” owners wrote. “However, financial uncertainty and a seemingly perpetual staff turnover eventually took its toll on our ability to grow.”

Eve Oleksyn is the manager of One Big Table, had warned this may happen this summer. 

"May was brutal," she said in an interview with iNFOnews. "It was our worst month for sales."

Oleksyn said constant construction near St. Paul Street and Bernard Avenue restricted traffic and limited the number of customers who came to the store. One Big Table also saw a high staff turnover that month, meaning they had to train new employees, which can take time.

The One Big Table name, being fairly new to Kelowna, might also not yet be well known enough to pop up on shoppers' radars. Oleksyn said she often hears new customers say they'd never heard of the store until they stumbled across it.

While they couldn't stay open they are thankful.

“We did this for you (they said to suppliers). Your work and dedication are what drives the local food movement; a particularly big thank you also to all of our employees — without you there would have been no One Big Table,” they wrote.

To their members, they said One Big Table remains a compelling example of the power that collective actions have in shaping our community.

The shop will remain open for the month of December from Monday through Friday10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The cafe and catering will end operations on Dec. 23.

They will reopen on Jan. 2, 2020 with reduced hours to sell off any remaining stock, material and equipment.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 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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News from © iNFOnews, 2019

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