On May 17th, 2015, my wife and I opened the Riverside Store. At 9:30 am we flicked the switch on the open sign.
We live near a small subdivision called Crawford. Approximately 10 years ago the store, then called Edgewater closed it's doors and the subdivision has been without a store ever since. The residents in the area would have to drive approximately fifteen to twenty kilometers to either Durham or Hanover Ontario in order to purchase items they needed.
Our first week of operation, I would call very successful. We opened the store as a soft opening in order to get all the kinks out and to provide us with a learning curve, since neither of us had ever operated a convenience store.
Day one was extremely successful. Residents from the area would drop by and take a look at their new store. Comments from the people where extremely positive. We didn't hear any negative criticism, instead things like how bright and clean the store was, how well stocked it was, and the big ticket items where fresh ground coffee and scoop ice cream were available at a great price.
During the rest of our first week we did not do all that well as far as sales dollars go, however the positive sign was that new people came into the store to see it and tell use they would be supporting the new store in their little community. There where other positive signs that we did not suspect. Customers would come into the store and tell us that they heard about us on facebook. One person spent the time to go to our website and sent us a comment, telling us how pleased she was to see the store revived in the subdivision.
Week two is starting and it appears that it will be about the same as week one. We have worked out some issues that we had in the first week and are now going to start phase two of the store opening. We are going to start advertising in the local newspapers that we are open for business and new store front signs are on order.
The next phase for Riverside Campground & Store is to get the camping sites ready to use. Hopefully by June 5th, 2015, we can offer campsites to potential customers.
This past weekend was the major cleanup of the camping area. Twenty friends and family pulled together on Saturday and Sunday to chop, cut, rake and burn 10 years of overgrowth in the wooded section of the camp site area.
Walking this area before the cleanup people would say how beautiful the site was. Now when people walk through, they tell us just how amazing the area is.
This camp site is different from the ordinary camp sites you can go to. Here, you camp under the trees right next to the river. Your so close you can hear the water flowing down the river and the trees are so full we have to limit where you can have a camp fire. We don't pack you in like sardines in a can, but allow only a small number of campsites.
The cleanup is going to be much more than a weekend project. There is much more to accomplish before we achieve being a campsite that when you come here, you leave and tell your family and friends about the wonderful experience here at Riverside Campground & Store.
Our goal for this new revived campground is unattainable.
"Never Be Satisfied With What We Have Achieved. Always Strive To Improve."
The campground and store closed several years ago. The site and buildings remained empty until 2014, when my wife and I found the real estate listing on the internet.
On August 29th 2014 we took possession of the property and now the work begins.
The goal was to open the business in stages, convenience store and the campground. The goal to be completely ready for the 2015 camping season.
Wish us luck