Walk into Deep Cove Market and the first thing you’ll notice is the abundance of smiling faces. With the smell of fresh coffee lingering in the air, the charming wood plank floor and woven baskets of produce capping off the aisles, it’s easy to see why the shoppers are in a good mood. There’s a quaint feeling of discovery that permeates the shop, as though the perfect ingredient is waiting just around the corner.
That welcoming personality — both of the store and its employees — was undoubtedly a large factor in the market reaching its 10th anniversary on Saturday and the proprietors naturally invited the community to help them celebrate with cake, coffee and a storewide 10 per cent discount.
Owner Rosemary Scott can hardly believe it’s been a decade since the market’s doors opened.
“It’s come up very quickly, but this little market keeps very busy,” she said. “It’s been fun turning a run-down little corner store into a funky market. We’ve really turned it into a community meeting place.”
Her sister, and store manager, Joanne Waddington, heartily agreed.
“This place has just been a gold mine for the community. People love it.”
The past decade has seen the market become a staple in the lives of many of the area’s youth, Scott added.
“It’s been amazing meeting and employing all the young people and watching them grow. I’ve had a lot of teenagers come through, and they’ve stayed on through their university education.”
“What a great place to take on a first job,” added Waddington. “We’ve seen these kids go from being 15 years old, to getting married, to having babies, and we have the pictures to prove it. Here, they all feel like family.”
So much so, she said, that they’ve had former employees come back one or two days a week just because they miss the market.
The family-friendly feel is only part of the equation contributing to the market’s success, however, as Scott stressed that they’ve always tried to go above and beyond customer expectations.
“I’ve tried to offer a lot of organic products and local products. In the summer, we try to have 100 per cent local produce,” she said. “We try to make the choices really interesting, besides regular grocery, we try to have a lot of specialty items just to make it more fun for the consumer.”
That includes spending sometimes hours on the internet trying to track down a supplier if a customer has made a special request, said Waddington, always prioritizing local first.
It’s a level of commitment that is echoed in the relationship between the sisters.
“She’s my right hand in everything,” said Scott.
“You can put this in big, bold letters, I could not have done ten years here without my sister,” said Waddington, who left careers in nursing and the forestry industry for the market.
“We do this hand in hand.”