Under new management

Turkey Point Food Market will seek LCBO agency permit

The Turkey Point Food Market in Turkey Point is under new management. Parties to the new venture include Gary Patel (left), Parth Parekh and Milan Patel. MONTE SONNENBERG / SIMCOE REFORMER

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TURKEY POINT – Beer, wine and liquor sales could return to the Turkey Point Food Market in time for the 2019 summer season.

The store at 230 Cedar Dr. re-opened under new management Dec. 27.

The owners intend to file an application for a permit to serve as the Liquor Control Board of Ontario’s agency store in the cottage community.

Grocer Vijay Parekh is part of the ownership group.

The Parekh family owns a network of grocery stores in small communities in Ontario. These include Oil Springs, St. Clement, Embro and Blyth, all of which have agency permits from the LCBO.

“Our idea is to serve small communities,” son Parth Parekh said Thursday.

“We actually didn’t have to advertise ourselves when we re-opened. People came in and introduced themselves. We like that connection with the community. It really works for us.”

He said the owners look for properties in smaller communities.

“When we looked at this one, we liked it. There’s a lot of opportunity here.”

The fate of the 3,800-square-foot store was left hanging last fall after the LCBO pulled its agency permit. The issue involved customer service.

Longtime owner Nellie Bauer, 80, of Turkey Point, considered running the store strictly on the basis of groceries but noted that the loss of the liquor concession significantly changed her business.

Gary Patel, a partner in the new venture, said the grocery side of the business is emphasized at other stores in the chain as much as alcohol sales.

“I don’t want to concentrate just on beer and liquor,” he said. “We also want to concentrate on groceries all year long.”

Patel added that the property has been purchased outright and that the Bauer family is no longer involved.

The Turkey Point Food Market is a seasonal business. It currently maintains winter hours, opening from noon to 6 p.m. seven days a week.

Come spring, plans are to operate the store from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week.

In October, a spokesperson for the LCBO said a fair and open application process will determine who secures the agency permit in Turkey Point. In the meantime, year-round residents of Turkey Point have been encouraged to patronize the LCBO outlet in Port Rowan.

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