– by Rosemary Scott –
The Deep Cove Market is not your typical convenience store. A destination for foodies, it’s a charming country market nestled in North Saanich that has become, through much hard work, a gem of a meeting place for the community. After the Deep Cove Farm on Wain Road was retired, I wanted to provide locals like myself with a place to meet over breakfast, lunch or lattes and have a place to shop that supports our local farming community. Having lived in the community for over 20 years I felt local consumers deserved to be offered something better. From spring through fall, the market supplies the community with bountiful local produce. If you want locally raised lamb, beef, poultry and eggs, it’s a place worth visiting.
10 years ago, with no grocery experience whatsoever, I decided to take on the rather daunting task of breathing new life into this little rundown store. As my first real business venture it was very difficult getting started, in part because the previous owner removed all the supplier files. With the help of family members I basically had to start from scratch. We closed the market for two weeks to renovate and I remember when we re-opened, the shelves looked bare! I shed a few tears in those first few weeks and felt very overwhelmed. Through attending many food and gift shows the market has grown into a unique collection of interesting finds. With a small retail footprint to work with, the Deep Cove Market boasts an incredible selection of local, import and specialty food and gift items. It has taken a lot of investment thanks to my husband Kevin and a tremendous amount of hard work with my sister Joanne at my side.
One of the big challenges in running a small business on the Peninsula is staying competitive in pricing with so many larger stores and chains available to consumers. One way I try to counter that is by offering things that you just can’t find in larger stores. I’m a shopper and foodie at heart and running this country market has certainly been rewarding. It was a dream come true to find a business that I could be very passionate about! If you are not passionate and enthusiastic about starting your new business, it will be a much harder road to success.
I credit my dedicated staff who have become more like extended family than employees for making the market such a memorable place to visit. Finding staff has fortunately always been easy for me; there always seem to be numerous resumes on hand from local students. What helps me keep my staff is being flexible with their schedules to accommodate their extra-curricular activities. For many this is their first experience at a job, and it has been a real pleasure watching them blossom with confidence and work ethic. Treating your staff with kindness and respect goes a long way too!
Without the amazing support this community has given us, we could not have become such a success. I hope the Deep Cove Market will continue to be a focal point for the community for many years. It will be interesting to see who might come along with enough energy and passion to take it to the next level!