Calgary grocer gives back with pay-what-you-can promotion

A family-owned grocer in Calgary is giving back to support neighbouring businesses hurting from the pandemic.

Customers have been giving over and above, the store's owner says

Signs invite customers to pay what they want for produce, with proceeds supporting struggling local businesses. (Helen Pike/CBC)

A family-owned grocer in Calgary is giving back to support neighbouring businesses hurting from the pandemic.

Darren Hollman, owner of the European Deli and Produce Market, says because his business is essential, he hasn't faced the same struggles a restaurant or retailer might.

"We're an essential business and people have to eat, [so] we haven't been affected nearly as bad as some of the other places have been. We've been operating at 15 per cent [capacity] but we feel we can give back so that's why we're doing it," he said.

This weekend, the store is offering some staples like apples, potatoes and carrots at "pay-what-you-can" prices — customers decide what the want to pay, and 100 per cent of the proceeds will go toward supporting Platoon Fitness, Crolux Tailoring and Marco's Kitchen, all businesses impacted by public health restrictions.

"The customers have been very receptive to it and have done a lot to help — like giving over and above which is nice to see," he said.

Shopper Elena Khomiak said she was picking up apples, even though she doesn't need any, as a chance to support local.

"We'll pay, I don't know, $50 or $100, the most expensive apples I've ever had," she said with a laugh.

The fundraiser runs until 6 p.m. Sunday. 

With files from Helen Pike


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