A piece of Campbell River is at the end of its long life.
After many years of business, the Jolly Giant Store closed its doors on Nov. 11. It will reopen on Monday for five days from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. to sell off inventory, but will not reopen after that.
“The Jolly Giant Store has been a neighbourhood fixture for some 60 years, and we have had many customers who have expressed their sadness at the closing of the store,” said past owner Roy Wharton.
Wharton and his wife Emily ran the store for 34 years. They sold it just over a year ago, but Roy said the new owners couldn’t make the business work.
However, the Whartons still own the building and the decision to permanently close the store was a hard one for them.
“We were put in a position of deciding what to do with the business,” explained Roy. “After agonizing for some time, we decided that after 34 years, we were not prepared to put in the enormous amount of time and effort necessary to successfully run a convenience store.”
Roy said they still hope someone else will take over the business again in the future.
According to Roy, the store was originally called Stewart’s Grocery when it was started in the 1950s.
Then, in the early 1970s two brothers, who owned a Jolly Giant Store in Comox, bought it and gave it the Jolly Giant name.
Roy worked at the Jolly Giant Store in Comox as a young man, and bought the Campbell River Jolly Giant in 1976.
“I purchased the Campbell River store with the help of my parents. I was only 21 at the time,” said Roy. “With the help of my family, my wife and very good staff over the years, we ran the store for 34 successful years.”
Roy said students from Phoenix school frequented the store as it’s near the school and they don’t seem to forget the store even after they leave.
“To this day, we still have former Phoenix students, who are now adults with their own children, come to the Jolly Giant Store just for the slushies,” Roy explained, who added he’s been told they have the best slushies in town.
“They tell us it’s like a walk down memory lane.”