Fresh Street Market -will we warm up to it?

(January 09, 2013 )

Fresh Street Market in Ambleside- on the old site of the Safeway on 16th Street and Marine Drive in West Vancouver - just opened its doors.  Will West Vancouverites warm up to this upscale supermarket that took over local favourite Safeway?  Its hard to say.  Many people, a large percentage of them seniors, shopped at Safeway for years, liked the prices and were very familiar with it.  The little old ladies liked the independence of walking to the store from their condo close by.  Or they liked the Shop by Phone service (maybe by necessity not being as mobile) and Air Miles.  They probably weren't customers of the more upscale grocery places like Whole Foods or IGA.   Has anyone spared a thought to seniors on a budget?   photo.JPG

The old Safeway was a great location being midway between Extra Foods in Park Royal and IGA in Dundarave, perfect for running in to stock up on milk and bread.  When Safeway closed to make way for the new New Concept Supermarket, there seemed to be a little of a scramble for many Ambleside residents to find a new grocery store close by.  With Ambleside having such a large senior population, Safeway at Caulfeild Village added quite a few new Shop by Phone clients, I am sure!

Why did Safeway close all of a sudden?  It has to do with real estate.  H.Y. Louie Group, the company that owns London Drugs and the IGA grocery franchise in B.C., had owned the property and leased it to Safeway for 15 years.  The company chose to use this location to try out their new concept: high-service culture that offers top of the line products in an atmosphere of discovery and exploration where new, authentic, organic and exclusively sourced becomes everyday shopping at affordable prices.  Sounds upscale to me.  Artisan cheeses - how affordable can they be for those used to Safeway deals?  Seriously, do we really need another specialty supermarket here in West Van? Thoughts?