The closing of the Sobeys on Primrose St. in Dartmouth North - one of the last of the smaller neighbourhood grocery stores left in the metro area - is going to be sorely felt in the surrounding community, say some local residents.
"I think what's going to happen is the poor will get poorer as they're going to be stuck having to buy a lot of their food at the convenience store," said Roseanna Cleveland, who lives near Harbourview School and does most of her grocery shopping at the Primrose store.
Last July, Sobeys announced it would be closing the Primrose site to move into a new, larger, store at the former Old Mill Lounge and Restaurant site at 200 Wyse Rd. The exact date of the changeover is still unknown.
"The Primrose location will close the night before the new store opens. We don't have a scheduled date as yet...it will happen sometime in the summer," said Shauna Selig, a spokesperson with Sobeys.
All 50 employees at the Primrose location will be transferred to the new site, with up to 100 new employees to be hired, Selig said.
Jody Livingstone, mother to three young children, said not being able to drop by the Primrose site on the way home from school with her children will make getting food a lot more difficult.
"We don't have a car so I just pick things up when I can. Taking the three kids on the bus, then going home with bags of groceries ... that's just going to be a lot harder," Livingstone said.
Taking a taxi won't be much easier, Livingstone noted, once lugging car seats and the extra cost is added in.
Allana Loh has lived near the Primrose store for most of her life. An active community volunteer, Loh said the loss will be felt far more than just getting groceries.
"That's our neighbourhood grocery store ... After we pick the kids up from school we stop by for a cookie. It's a place where people can socialize on the way home. It's going to be a huge loss to our community," Loh said.
Selig said that although they have not received direct complaints about the closing of the Primrose site through their customer care department, Sobeys is aware some customers (at the Primrose site) have concerns about access to transportation.
"We...worked to identify a location that was in close proximity to the current store. The new store will be on a number of Metro Transit bus routes (the 52, 53 and 64) and is located only one kilometre from the current Primrose store."