New M’Chigeeng grocery store will be a Freshmart

March opening scheduled

M’CHIGEENG—The M’Chigeeng First Nation grocery store, a Freshmart from the Loblaws chain of stores, is slated to be open on March 16.

Sam Manitowabi, M’Chigeeng First Nation CAO, explained that March 16 will be the soft opening for the store with a grand opening celebration planned for June.

The Freshmart will employee approximately eight full-time positions and between 12 and 16 part-time positions, Mr. Manitowabi explained.

A manager, Ray Charette, an assistant manager, Steven Debassige, and a finance person have all been hired. The rest of the positions will be hired closer to the March opening date.

The M’Chigeeng Development Centre has three other office spaces, one of which has been promised to a pharmacist, a M’Chigeeng band member who will be opening a pharmacy in the new centre.

“We are looking to lease space to potential tenants,” Mr. Manitowabi said. “There are two other smaller office spaces, just under 1,000 square feet, and a common area we are hoping to utilize for local artisans to showcase their work.” Mr. Manitowabi said the common area is also available to groups who would like to set up information kiosks or host sessions.

The 6,200 square foot grocery store was a partnership between the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, FedNor, Waubetek Business Development Corporation and the M’Chigeeng First Nation, Mr. Manitowabi noted. The construction was done by Sheppard Custom Building.