When a grocery store in Burnaby closed down a few months ago, I was skeptical when some of the area shoppers told me they would have a hard time.
It was older shoppers who don’t drive and have mobility issues who said this was where they did all of their shopping. I figured it would be a bit bumpy at first, but that they would adjust.
Well, I was wrong.
I dropped by the site of the old SuperValu store in Greystone Village on Burnwood Drive near the Burnaby Mountain Golf Course. It closed down at the end of January.
The store will be replaced by a new store, Sungiven Foods, but the company says it won’t be opening until at least the fall because the space needs extensive renovations.
I hung around the strip mall and chatted with some of the people who lived in the area. Those who drove, said it is, of course, no problem.
But then I met a couple of seniors in the area and they said it hasn’t been easy.
“It’s a struggle,” said Hazel Adams. “My granddaughter tried to get me to do grocery delivery but I’m not good with computers and I find that service is more expensive. With inflation, groceries are even more expensive than ever and adding a delivery fee on top of this just isn’t affordable for me. I don’t have any extra money.”
Another senior told me that she used to go to SuperValu for just a couple of items a day because it was so close. But now she has to do bigger grocery shops because she’s taking transit, which means having to put heavier items in a cart. This makes getting in and out of a bus far more difficult.
“I wish I could take a cab, but I can’t afford it,” said the senior, who also has a disability that makes it difficult to walk. "I can't imagine how hard it will be if we get another heat dome situation."
This is just a reminder of the many things that people take for granted when they are younger or don’t have a disability.
The area surrounding Greystone Village has a large seniors population.
The good news is the new Sungiven store will be coming eventually
Sungiven has been on an expansion tear, recently opening its second location in South Burnaby, in the Big Bend area at 5771 Marine Way.
The new South Burnaby location is even bigger than the 6,300 square feet of space it occupies at Hastings and Gilmore in Burnaby. Sungiven has also based its headquarters in Burnaby and operates two stores in Vancouver.
Sungiven recently expanded into North Vancouver and has plans for a south Surrey location.
Follow Chris Campbell at Twitter.com/shinebox44.