Penelakut Tribe chief Joan Brown, with Band Administrator Jim Chisholm, left, and 49th Parallel’s Ron Neubauer, right, cuts the ribbon to officially mark the conversion of the 49th Parallel General Store to the Salish Sea Market. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Island First Nations Tribe assumes ownership of iconic 49th Parallel General Store in Chemainus

Operating what’s now known as the Salish Sea Market provides economic opportunities for Penelakut

The Penelakut Tribe has assumed ownership of the iconic 49th Parallel General Store by the Penelakut-Thetis Island ferry terminal in Chemainus as of Monday morning.

“I think it’s a really good start to continuing business in Chemainus, building relationships, building partnerships,” said Josh James, the Penelakut Tribe’s lands and economic development officer.

“It’s a good opportunity to build capacity for the community.”

“And create an economic base,” added Band Administrator Jim Chisholm.

The store is now known as the Salish Sea Market.

The Penelakut is still developing a plan for goods the store will carry, the number of employment positions it will create and other aspects to the business.

“This is very exciting for Penelakut,” said Chief Joan Brown. “We’re new at this.

“One hundred years ago back, this is our village site. You walk through Chemainus, you won’t see anything Penelakut. It puts us back in Chemainus.”

“This is awesome,” said North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring, who was on hand for the ceremonial ribbon-cutting. “You’re finally starting to re-establish a foothold on this side of the water. This is so fabulous.

“Most of the customer base here is the folks off the ferry. This is their go-to grocery store. This is a perfect fit for everybody.”

It was a bittersweet day in a way for 49th Parallel’s Richmond family after a long tenure as owners of the store. But Wayne, Harmina, Peter and Kathy considered it a proud moment to complete the sale.

“It has been our honour and pleasure for my family to have served Chemainus, Crofton and area for 41 years,” noted Wayne Richmond. “We want to thank everyone for supporting us in this location since March 16, 1979.”

Efforts in Chemainus will now be fully concentrated for them at the new store in the Chemainus Village Square that was a long time coming.

The Richmonds are proud of the legacy they’ll leave behind at the old store, highlighted by Ron and Nelly Neubauer and family and staff raising more than $270,000 for the Tour de Rock Cops For Cancer campaign in the last 14 years.

“As a family touched by cancer, we want to also thank all our friends and customers who have contributed to the 49th cause for Cops for Cancer,” Wayne added.

Ron Neubauer’s tireless efforts combined with community support from donations and purchases made it all possible.

The fundraising venture is not continuing through the store.

“We shut that down in December,” said Neubauer. “We haven’t taken any donations. We sold out of what we had.

“The community has been absolutely awesome supporting the whole program.”

The Richmonds and Neubauer are thus turning the page on the abundant memories created at the site.

“We want to thank our dedicated staff who have worked hard and supported us and will be remaining at this location with the new owners,” Wayne concluded.

“We wish the Penelakut Tribe all the success in their endeavours in this location as we have.”

First Nations

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Peter, Harmina and Wayne Richmond inside the 49th Parallel General Store for the last time under 49th ownership before being taken over by the Penelakut Tribe. (Photo by Don Bodger)

The iconic 49th Parallel General Store by the Thetis-Penelakut Island ferry terminal is now known as the Salish Sea Market. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Lands and economic development officer Josh James, Chief Joan Brown and Band Administrator Jim Chisholm mark the opening of the Salish Sea Market Monday under Penelakut ownership. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Comments are closed

Just Posted

The puppets are back!

The Museum at Campbell River will have virtual puppet shows this summer on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11 a.m.

Search and rescue crews continue to look for missing Black Creek hiker

Searchers scouring Strathcona Park near Gold River for experienced 65-year-old on 40-kilometre trek

Dog rescued from bottom of well by Oyster River Fire Department

Mini the chihuahua mix fell more than 20 feet

Campbell River teen produces quarantine musical

Ryver Santos Cegnar performed for friends and family over Facebook

Campbell River volleyball player invited to national team training camp

Emoni Bush will join Volleyball Canada’s U20 women’s virtual summer program

Mirror business directory and map

If you’d like to be added to the list, shoot us an email

B.C. records 31 new cases, six deaths over three days due to COVID-19

There are 166 active cases in B.C., 16 people in hospital

B.C. highway widening job reduced, costs still up $61 million

Union-only project scales back work to widen Trans-Canada

Greater Victoria nanny pleads guilty to child porn, sexual interference charges

Johnathon Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to slew of sex crimes

BC Wildfire Service to conduct night vision trials for helicopters in South Okanagan

This technology could assist with future firefighting operations

Victoria man dies after skydiving incident on Vancouver Island

34-year-old had made more than 1,000 jumps

UPDATE: Missing Langford teens found safe

Pair were headed to Lake Cowichan/Youbou area, last heard from in North Cowichan

Following incident at sea, fishing lodge says it will reopen despite Haida travel ban

QCL reopens July 10, says president; Haida chief councillor describes ‘dangerous’ boating encounter

Most Read