British Columbia

Beloved Vancouver neighbourhood grocery store featured in Michael Bublé video sold

Longtime customers of Killarney Market in southeast Vancouver say they'll miss the store — which was prominently featured in a Michael Bublé music video — but the new owner plans to carry on with similar, niche groceries.

Killarney Market in southeast Vancouver has been sold to another local, independent store.

Michael Bublé, seen in this frame from his official Haven't Met You Yet music video, prominently featured Vancouver's Killarney Market in his video. (MichaelBubleTV/YouTube)

Hundreds of people have reacted to the news on social media that a beloved, independent Vancouver grocery store once featured in a Michael Bublé music video has been sold. 

Killarney Market in southeast Vancouver is changing hands. Inventory is being cleared at a discount, and the old sign, which has been viewed in the Bublé video more than 100 million times on YouTube, will soon be coming down.

But Felipe Leon, who has worked at the store since 1996 and served as manager for the past 15 years, said that customers shouldn't be too alarmed.

Killarney Market manager Felipe Leon says despite some major changes in appearance, the staff and many or the niche products won't change under new ownership. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

"They just assume because it's been sold, they're going to stop seeing the products on the shelf, and we can guarantee that we'll still keep them," said Leon, adding that the new owner — another independent Vancouver grocery store, 88 Supermarket — will bring in more Asian and southeast Asian products but keep the niche Latin American and European stuff Killarney Market is known for.

Leon said the reason for the new ownership is simple. The owner has decided to retire.

On Facebook, Gina Taliman Chan commented, "I will miss Killarney Market. Thank you for bringing food from Peru and all over the world."

Many others noted their love of Killarney Market's Peruvian products.

Killarney Market is advertising discounts on many of the products it's trying to clear out to make space for renovations and new ownership. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

Vincent Chan was at the store on Tuesday. He's been a customer for about 10 years. 

"We really appreciate the fact that they have so many different varieties of groceries that we don't normally get in the Safeway or Superstores. They have their own inventory of stuff, which is really nice," said Chan.

"It is a loss to the community, and I remember Michael Bublé doing his video shoot here at this supermarket. That's something that will stick in my mind for a while," he said. "It was kind of cool."

Chan wasn't the only person to bring up Bublé's video, which cemented the shop's reputation as an East Vancouver establishment.

Vincent Chan looks over the beef selection at Killarney Market. He's been a customer there for 10 years. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

Customer Wendy Lam also brought up the shoot for Bublé's song, Haven't Met You Yet.

"I was driving home from work and I noticed that there were film trailers and they had lights set up here ... when I found out it was a Michael Bublé video I felt really proud to live in this neighbourhood," said Lam.

"I'll be sad to see it go, because it's been here for so long and it's part of this neighbourhood," she said, though Lam added that she actually drives to 88 Supermarket to buy southeast Asian groceries, so she's looking forward to seeing more of them on the shelves.

Wendy Lam picks up some groceries at Killarney Market. She says she'll miss the old store but looks forward to some of the products the new owner will bring in. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

Ryan Banek was picking up some produce at Killarney and had barely noticed it was changing ownership. 

"It doesn't make much a difference to me ... at the end of the day, it's a grocery store," said Banek, but added that his family has been regulars there for awhile.

"My family's been coming here for many years. My brother — my oldest brother — worked here growing up," he said.

"I like to come here — I think the produce here is really good, reasonably priced."

Leon said the deal was completed a couple weeks ago, and significant renovations can be expected over the next couple of months. He said the store will remain open during the work, and the staff is all expected to continue working at the store under the new ownership.

Follow Rafferty Baker on Twitter: @raffertybaker

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rafferty Baker is a video journalist with CBC News, based in Vancouver. You can find his stories on CBC Radio, television, and online at cbc.ca/bc.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now