Foodland front-end manager Sheila MacDonald, and store manager Donnie Mariner (background), both offered their thanks to customers and everyone involved in the renovation at the grand re-opening on May 18.

ST. PETER’S: The staff of Foodland St. Peter’s approached an extensive and recently-completed store renovation by reminding themselves that the temporary upheaval would be worth it in the end.

The store, located on Grenville Street in the village, now boasts additional fresh departments, a larger bakery, new produce room and a new receiving area in the rear of the building that will also be used by the adjacent Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation (NSLC) store, which is expected to open in its new location early next month.

Perhaps the biggest change for the community though is the closure of Lawtons Drugs and the subsequent addition of Foodland Pharmacy to the grocery store site, while the front-store Lawtons staff and merchandise were not part of the move to Foodland. Both Lawtons Drugs and Foodland are retail banners of Sobeys Inc.

Photos by Dana MacPhail Touesnard — Foodland Pharmacy staff at the grand re-opening of the St. Peter’s Foodland location were (from the left): pharmacy assistant Jo-anne Allan, pharmacy manager Jennifer Touesnard and regional pharmacy manager Paul Warren. Pharmacy assistant Sandra Carter (not pictured) rounds out the staff.

The pharmacy staff and clientele of the now-closed Lawtons Drugs moved into the building and adopted the new name with Jennifer Touesnard continuing as the pharmacy manager, joined by Jo-Anne Allan and Sandra Carter as pharmacy assistants.

Sheila MacDonald, Foodland’s front-end manager, said the staff is pleased to welcome the Foodland Pharmacy staff and is also relieved that the renovations, which began last summer, are now complete.

“It was trying, it was loud, it was cold,” she said, “we froze here.”

“We had to wear winter jackets and long johns for weeks, and everything was disrupted but it was all worth because look at the end result,” said MacDonald.

When the St. Peter’s Foodland first opened in 1987 the ceremonial ribbon was cut by Charlie Stone. This time around they called on Charlie’s daughter Fran Campbell and his great granddaughter Gina MacAulay to do the honours.

Mostly she says she is happy to get back to the business of customer service.

“We were so busy doing everything else that we were scared we might not give the people the attention we feel they need so we’re glad to be back in the saddle again,” MacDonald said.

The expansion added approximately 3,000 square feet to the grocery store and its new pharmacy, with an additional 2,000 square feet of space allocated to the incoming NSLC store.

The Great Canadian Dollar Store chain has been recently been searching for staff and preparing the former Lawtons Drugs space to open a franchise location in St. Peter’s.

The festivities for the grand re-opening of Foodland in St. Peter’s on May 18 included music and dancers, a free barbecue and messages of gratitude from management.