A grocery store in Cole Harbour is hoping a new grocery cart will help make life a little easier for parents whose children have mobility issues.
The Sobeys on Forest Hills Drive has the first Caroline's Cart in Atlantic Canada. The grocery cart has a seat that can carry a person weighing upwards of 250 pounds.
It has a harness that essentially combines a wheelchair and grocery cart into one, eliminating the need to manoeuvre both devices through the store.
Paul Keinick, the store manager in Cole Harbour, is also the father of two six-year-old twin boys with special needs. He ordered the Caroline's Cart to help families like his own.
"Nate doesn't walk particularly well so it's very difficult for my wife to go grocery shopping or myself and take both kids," said Keinick.
"This cart allows you to come into the store using one device. The shopping cart and the wheelchair are integrated into one."
Caroline's Cart was created by an American mother, who realized her daughter with special needs would outgrow a typical shopping cart. Drew Ann Long and David Long designed the cart and named it after their daughter, Caroline.
Georgina Keinick, Paul's wife, said the special carts have made a huge difference.
"I can actually do a full grocery shop and I can include them in the shopping process too, so they can participate in picking something out or even just hearing," she said. "All the incidental learning that goes on in the grocery store is huge."
The cart arrived at the Cole Harbour store in March. Keinick said it is usually used about three times a week.
At the Sobeys in Cole Harbour, parents can call ahead of time to arrange for staff to bring the cart out to meet them at their car. Staff can also help parents transfer items back to the parking lot when the shopping trip is done.
Keinick suggests parents with special needs children call local retailers to see if a Carolyn's Cart can be ordered for their stores.