Tk'emlups te Secwepemc announced plans to build an independent grocery store, construction to start in 2022

New grocery store for TteS

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc has started work to construct a new independent grocery store in the Mount Paul area.

TteS councillors, staff and Kukpi7 Rosanne Casimir announced the launch of the estimated $13 million project at an event on Thursday.

“It is not only an entrepreneurial, Indigenous-owned business, but it is our Tk’emlups te Secwepemc band-owned business,” Casimir said, adding the project launch means a lot to the community especially after a challenging year.

“It feels so wonderful to focus on a positive step forward for TteS on this groundbreaking ceremony that we’re all here for, and share in how it will benefit TteS’ economy, but also what it means to Kamloops as well.”

Devin Gambler, TteS Business and Economic Development interim manager, said construction of the grocery store — to be located at the southwest corner of Highway 5 and Shuswap Road —will begin in spring 2022.
They plan for the store to open in 2023.

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc has partnered with consultant service VisionQuest Advisors Inc. who is helping to plan, construct and launch the grocery store project.

Gambler said along with VisionQuest, they have built a feasibility and a business plan, created budgets and completed different types of land surveys.

They have also created a corporation for the grocery store, hired a project manager and have selected an architect to design the structure.

“The next stage is really a general contractor, a construction contractor. And so now we're taking a pause to celebrate with all of you and share our progress,” Gambler said.

According to TteS, the 22,000 square foot grocery store will have a supply relationship with a major supplier and will offer a full grocery selection with fresh produce, a butcher, baker and a deli.

Online ordering and delivery will also be available.

Jay Savage, owner and principal for VisionQuest Advisors Inc., said the store would also be a way to support local producers.

“The opportunity to create space and to create opportunity through the store, using the store as a vehicle to grow the community towards sustainability of the community is really what it’s about,” Savage said.

TteS said they estimate 50 jobs will be created in the first year of being open, and 100 jobs by the fifth year of operation.

“TteS welcomes land development, we truly are ready for that. Our goal is to have businesses thrive on our lands in an environmentally responsible and sustainable way,” Casimir said.

“The grocery store will enable our community to increase our food sovereignty and self-sufficiency. …We look forward to celebrating this path forward with all of you until we are all in that grocery store, passing one another with our individual grocery shopping carts.”

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