Building confidence in Fort Langley
IGA to be replaced with independent Lee’s Market.
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