'Really hard decision' to close Gass' Country Store, owner says
'We had no choice'
Gass' Country Store in New Dominion, P.E.I., a long-serving community grocery store and gas station, is closing its doors.
The market has served Islanders for many years and has been run by the Gass family for the past decade, but will close down Feb. 23.
"To me, it's a really hard decision but unfortunately at this point — we had no choice," said owner Tim Gass.
It's going to hurt a lot of people around here.— Pierre Filion
"We put a lot of time and effort, we improved the sales. We've had unbelievable support from the area."
Gass's has another location up the road in New Haven that is remaining open.
The underground gas tanks on the property are at least 25 years old and need to be replaced, Gass said, but it's too expensive. Finding insurance to cover them is also difficult and expensive.
Options to keep the doors open have been exhausted, Gass said, and remaining open is simply not feasible
The news has upset many customers who have shopped at the store for years.
The grocery store's aisles have been a backdrop to neighbourly run-ins and storytelling, said Pierre Filion, a local resident and frequent customer.
"You come down here and you fill your car up with gas and all of a sudden a neighbour pulls in," said Filion, who said he gets gas and shops in the store several times a week.
"It's going to hurt a lot of people around here, especially older people because we have a lot of seniors around here who depend on this little place."
"If it goes it's going to be a sad, sad day," he said.
Jobs will move
Emily Gass has worked at both locations of the business for more than a decade and said she is "a little heartbroken" over the decision to close.
"Been here for years and years — my whole life this store has been here so it's very sad," she said.
Staff will have jobs at Gass' other location in New Haven, the owner said.
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With files from Isabella Zavarise