“The community has been pulling together,” says mayor

Houston businesses and residents are stepping up to help others after Super Valu closes.

With the closure of Houston’s Super Valu, Houston Mayor Shane Brienen says the community is pulling to together to ensure all residents have access to basic products.

“I know people are also watching out for their neighbours,” he said. I’ve seen lots of positive comments on social media of people volunteering and checking on their neighbours.”

Super Valu, which has served Houston residents for over 40 years and employs 27 people, is slated to close its doors on June 25, 2016. Getting to the next closest and comparable supermarket will force Houston residents to head to Smithers or Burns Lake, a 45-minute drive away.

“Our big concerns are, of course, some of the seniors and low-income people,” Brienen told Black Press. “It’s not very easy or convenient for them to go out of town to shop.”

The Houston Senior Citizen’s Association is currently organizing food deliveries for seniors without vehicles.

The two smaller grocery stores in Houston – Houston Food Market and the North Country Market – have stepped up and are now carrying more stock.

In addition, Brienen said fruit trucks will be coming Houston more often.

“We’ll have a period of time without a big store in town but everyone is pulling together,” he said.

When it comes to long-term solutions, Brienen said council is optimistic that Houston can rent the space that is currently occupied by Super Valu.

“We’ve very confident; there are lots of people phoning and asking about that space,” he said.

Closure of Super Valu could impact sales in Burns Lake

With the closure of Super Valu stores in Fraser Lake and Houston, many people are expected to make their way to Burns Lake to buy their groceries.

According to Paul Hartman, Overwaitea Foods’ store manager in Burns Lake, Overwaitea has already seen an impact on their sales.

“We’ve already started seeing some impact for the last couple of weeks,” he said.

While Fraser Lake’s Super Value closed its doors last weekend, Houston’s Super Valu is slated to close its doors on June 25, 2016.

Hartman expects that sales in Burns Lake will increase even more when both stores are closed.

Travis Warkentin, manager of the Real Canadian Wholesale Club in Burns Lake, said it’s still too soon to tell if the closure of Super Valu stores in Fraser Lake and Houston will have a significant impact on the wholesale club’s sales.