JUDIQUE: Wayne’s Variety is the latest nominee in Advocate Media’s “Shine On” campaign.
Annette MacIsaac, nominated the store for going above and beyond during the COVID-19 pandemic. She thanked owner Wayne MacInnis and his staff for all their hard work.
“If you need something they don’t carry, they will order it for you,” MacIsaac wrote in her submission. “They stayed open at a risk to themselves. You leave the store with a smile on your face, so what more can you ask for during this trying time?”
MacIsaac also noted that MacInnis owns the gas station which provides “great service” and the community “is lucky to have both businesses.”
MacInnis was pretty humble about the nomination.
After public health restrictions were imposed in March, he said they erected plastic barriers in front of the cash register, received a donation of gloves and stationed hand sanitizer at the front door thanks to Canada Post.
“People use that before they come in and they use it on the way out and we had some on the counter,” MacInnis said of the hand sanitizer. “We social-distanced from the people, and other than that, we didn’t much more just open up the doors and then we did what we always do.”
The hours at Wayne’s Variety were reduced with an 8 p.m. closing time. While there were limits on how many people could be in the store at one time, MacInnis said that wasn’t an issue for them.
“We kept an eye on it, it wasn’t really too often that was over five people at once,” MacInnis said. “Some people would just sit outside and wait until others had left before they came in.”
Although they did not offer on-line services, MacInnis said they did provide grocery pick-up and delivery.
“A few would call and we’d meet them outside and give them their order that way, and they’d pay for it,” MacInnis recalled. “A few others, who might’ve come home, we delivered to them, just a few people who would call and we’d keep a tab at the store for them, and when their 14 days were up, they came and paid for it.”
The owner said despite the challenges, customers did not want to travel far, and others wanted to support their local store, which turned into “great news” for the local business.
“We did a summer-type business all during the winter, March on, compared to what we would normally do,” MacInnis said. “We were doing July and August business in March, April and May.”
As it stands, MacInnis will maintain the 9 p.m. closing time and the store remains busy. They are now gearing up for a busy summer tourism season.
The winner in the “Shine On” campaign will receive an advertising package valued at $3,000 and the chance to be highlighted in Advocate Media’s publications across Nova Scotia and in New Brunswick. To nominate a business, go to: http://porthawkesburyreporter.com/shine-on/.