Mystery store, 500 Park Ave, Beausejour, MB

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Andrew T.
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Mystery store, 500 Park Ave, Beausejour, MB

Post by Andrew T. »

Any ideas on the original purpose and identity of this one?

The shallow pitched roof with exposed beam-ends is similar to that of the gable stores that Safeway was opening in Winnipeg around 1960...but the scale is not. The footprint of the building is only around 8000-9000 square feet. Note the snazzy sign, which has got to be original.
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"The pale pastels which have been featured in most food stores during the past 20 years are no longer in tune with the mood of the 1970s."
Andrew Turnbull
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Andrew T.
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Re: Mystery store, 500 Park Ave, Beausejour, MB

Post by Andrew T. »

Brief update, after checking the most obvious resources for leads:

Google Street View proves that the building is a former supermarket, and it operated as a Shop-Easy store as late as 2009. Shop-Easy is a chain name that came up during my Thunder Bay research, and I *thought* it had gone totally defunct in the 1970s...but this wouldn't be the first time I had my preconceptions challenged! The store also once had front display windows, with a circular sign (for a circle-S logo?) by the door.

The Winnipeg Tribune archive shows that this address was a Family Fare store in 1977-80. The paper didn't yield any earlier references.

Fortunately, as luck would have it, a local history book on Beausejour is also online. Page 760 (geez, how thick is this thing?) says:
In 1964, after enlargements and remodelling were not enough, a new store was built at the corner of 500 Park Avenue and Second Street. Leo and Gordon [Kaatz] remained in partnership until April 5, 1975, at which time the business was sold."
So it was originally an independent store.
"The pale pastels which have been featured in most food stores during the past 20 years are no longer in tune with the mood of the 1970s."
Andrew Turnbull
BillyGr
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Re: Mystery store, 500 Park Ave, Beausejour, MB

Post by BillyGr »

Andrew T. wrote: 23 Sep 2021 18:14 proves that the building is a former supermarket, and it operated as a Shop-Easy store as late as 2009. Shop-Easy is a chain name that came up during my Thunder Bay research, and I *thought* it had gone totally defunct in the 1970s...but this wouldn't be the first time I had my preconceptions challenged! The store also once had front display windows, with a circular sign (for a circle-S logo?) by the door.
Makes sense that could happen in a Canadian setting, as it has in the USA, where a chain has basically dissolved/gone bankrupt but one (or a few) stores keep independently using the name as no one else cares or challenges their use of it.
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Andrew T.
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Re: Mystery store, 500 Park Ave, Beausejour, MB

Post by Andrew T. »

More updates. This article from 1970 lists Shop-Easy as one of the 60 discrete companies then owned by George Weston Ltd...which links the chain to Loblaws. (Geez, is there a single Canadian grocery brand of the last 50 years that Loblaws, Sobeys, or Metro don't control?)

Furthermore, the Loblaws Freshmart website shows the Shop-Easy logo as an active brand...and apparently, there are still a handful of Shop-Easy stores scattered in small towns throughout western Canada!

So that's where things stand...
"The pale pastels which have been featured in most food stores during the past 20 years are no longer in tune with the mood of the 1970s."
Andrew Turnbull
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