Building confidence in Fort Langley

Building confidence in Fort Langley

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IGA to be replaced with independent Lee’s Market.

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The historic Fort Langley market is back, thanks to the efforts of own­er Robert Lee and family, who share ties with the community drawing back nearly 40 years. The market, reimag­ined and renamed “Lee’s Market-Fort Langley” is a testament to overcoming crisis in Fort Langley.

The loss of the IGA was traumatic, not just for Lee but for the entire com­munity. Seniors are excited for the new market, since many lack the en­ergy or means to venture into the mu­nicipality for their groceries. Natural­ly, Trinity Western University students fell into this orbit as well; the outlet was a fine place to pick up inexpensive provisions, new reads, and even flow­ers for friends/girlfriends—all just a refreshing walk away. Even after an absence of nearly two years, it is hard to imagine the site without this build­ing; IGA was more than a store, it was dependability and memories.

With regards to the town of Fort Langley, Lee has the highest respects. “I think it’s the best place in B.C. be­cause the people make the big differ­ence in the town. We don’t call them customers; we call them neighbours and friends.”

Indeed, the town is a heritage-des­ignated area; the staff said reverently, “We are not forgetting about the old store.” Lee remarked that when he showed the design for review by the board, a rarity occurred: the blueprint that was immediately approved. Don Ed­mund, a Fort Langley native who is a consultant on interior décor shared that the inside painting will retain a “distinctive look.”

Despite adjustments, Village Cof­fee alongside most of the entire town is happy about the market’s return. Kim Jacobs remarked how the proj­ect brings in much service, regularly seeing the owner himself in her cafe for coffee with bylaw people and construction workers. She really ap­preciates the buzz and business from them. “It is good for community; we’re all happy.”

Looking forward, Robert Lee’s driving idea is to be “more than just a grocery store”—to develop a con­cept that will fit the needs of the vil­lage. His assistant Andy Abreo said that when they started to rebuild they wanted to go independent. Choosing independence from IGA opens up new possibilities to deliver organic foods and natural products by local farmers. Lee called this step a return to the farmers’ market way of closing the gap between producers and con­sumers, concluding, “It’s really noth­ing new.” Of course, the new sourcing endorses local farms while support­ing a healthy lifestyle. “It’s a confi­dence builder.”

For information, photos, and opening dates, contact Robert Lee or Andy Abreo at www.facebook.com/leesmarketfortlang­ley

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