Mid Island Co-op has opened it first tradition liquor store at the corner of the Alberni Highway and Church Road. — Lauren Collins photo

Mid Island Co-op expands into liquor sales

Parksville location is first full-size store on the Island

Parksville is now home to Mid Island Co-op’s first traditional liquor store.

Mid Island Liquor, which opened nearly three weeks ago, is the company’s first foray into a standalone liquor store, said liquor operations manager Jared Brown.

“Now that this (location) is up and running, the next step is looking for additional liquor licences and locations to grow the brand,” Brown said.

Brown said Mid Island Co-op has another store that sells liquor in Sayward, but it’s a combination of a gas station, convenience store and liquor store.

Mid Island Liquor is located at 1401 Alberni Highway, adjacent to the Mid Island Co-op Parksville location gas bar and cardlock station. The liqour store is open seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.

The store, Brown said, has 2,700 different items “which gives us by far the most diverse selection of many of the stores in the area.”

Mid Island Liquor also houses a 1,000-sq.-ft., walk-in beer room that features many mid-Island brands, including Parksville’s Mount Arrowsmith Brewing Company, and Nanaimo’s Wolf Brewing Company, Longwood Brewery and White Sails Brewing.

Brown said the choice of the location resulted in part from BC Liquor Distribution Branch rules for distances between liquor stores, combined with the fact that Mid Island Co-op already owned the property.

“Obviously, this being one of our largest gas bars, it made sense to put a liquor store as close as we can to a Co-op gas station, just for convenience for our members to create an all-in-one shopping experience,” Brown said.

Despite the liquor store being open for less than a month, Brown said, the community response has been “very, very positive.”

Brown said it’s a slow time of year, but he expects business “to be hopping” in the spring and summer months.

“This is going to be a fantastic spot,” Brown said. “It’s a fantastic spot now considering all we’ve done at this point is unlock our doors (to the public).”

He said the challenge right now is just breaking into the liquor retail industry.

“There is a large amount of liquor stores in the area; there are many options. It’s obviously a different business from the gas stations. You drive by a gas station, and you see what their price is in order to get the best deal… The obstacle here will be to actually get people into the store.”

Brown said there are plans to expand in the liquor store industry, but right now, he said, the focus is on growing the awareness of the brand.

“Now that we have a brand out there, it should be easier for us to grow at the rate we’re hoping to in the coming years.”

Send story tips to:

lauren.collins@pqbnews.com

Just Posted

Winter preparation underway for mid-Island highways

Drivers reminded to ready vehicles for changing conditions

Qualicum Beach council discusses helping out Orca Place residents

Town considers offer of temporary jobs in the future

FEDERAL ELECTION: Courtenay-Alberni candidates visit Parksville’s Ballenas Secondary School

Students ask questions before participating in their own vote

RDN offers free transit to polling stations on Oct. 21

Initiative aimed at boosting voter turnout, reducing vehicles on road

Parksville residents hear compelling tales from recovering young addicts

Speakers emphasize need for detox and treatment centre, shelter in the area

VIDEO: U.S. officials refute British couple’s ‘accidental’ border-crossing claim

Authorities say couple was arrested after illegal entry from B.C., with $16,000 and marijuana

Woman, 24, faces life-altering injuries after being dragged 4 blocks by vehicle in Vancouver

A gofundme account says the woman will have to undergo multiple complex surgeries

Fatal overdoses down by 33% in B.C., but carfentanil deaths continue to spike

Carfentanil, an illicit drug more powerful than fentanyl, causing more deaths than ever

One person hurt in crash at busy Nanaimo intersection

Minivan, sport utility vehicle collide at old Island Highway, Bowen Road and Norwell Drive

Two RCMP vehicles vandalized in Duncan over long weekend

Local Mounties asking for help in finding culprits

A year after pot legalization in Canada, it’s a slow roll

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

ELECTION 2019: Climate strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

Black Press Media presents a three-part series on three big election issues

Most Read