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.