The tidy little grocery store at 133 Gore Street in the Sault’s downtown area recently resumed regular Monday to Friday hours.
Grocer 4 Good has re-opened following a shutdown relative to the COVID-19 pandemic.
And president and founder Lisa Vezeau-Allen, who is also a Ward 2 city councilor, relayed to Sault Business Matters that Grocer 4 Good is now in operation from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
An ability development program that was spearheaded by Vezeau-Allen and operates as a non profit model, the modest, 900 square foot Grocer 4 Good store originally opened late last fall.
As a social enterprise, Grocer 4 Good sells everyday essentials such as toiletries, home supplies, fresh produce, dairy, bread, dried goods and canned goods — at affordable prices.
“We support local food suppliers/growers such as Valleyfield Farms, Hogan’s Homstead and are working on developing more partnerships with local and sustainable food products, while keeping it affordable,” Vezeau-Allen told Sault Business Matters.
Following is the Grocer 4 Good mandate as set out by Vezeau-Allen and her board of directors.
MISSION: Grocer 4 Good Ability Development Program will provide employment opportunities for those persons with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, other intellectual disability or whom have been chronically underemployed
VISION: Grocer 4 Good Ability Development Program will create widespread opportunities and community engagement outside of the employment opportunity for those persons with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, Intellectual Disability or those chronically underemployed, while giving back and providing much needed access for affordable life essentials for those on fixed and low incomes.
VALUES: Grocer 4 Good Ability Development Program will instill the values that we all have something to contribute to our community in a meaningful and rewarding way.
VALUE PROPOSITION: Grocer 4 Good identifies and addresses two issues in the community of Sault Ste. Marie (and others); the lack of opportunities in meaningful and supported employment for youth and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder, other intellectual disabilities and those experiencing chronic underemployment (due to lack of education, training, opportunity.) The model of a small independent grocery style retailer also lends to tasks and working conditions that can engage people regardless of their level of ability. An individual on the Autism Spectrum whom is non-verbal can stock shelves and sort out donated produce, a very social person can provide customer service and a person with an ability with numbers and processes can do cash transactions. The rates after high school for persons with an Autism Spectrum Disorder is over 50 per cent unemployment and the overall rate for those with disabilities is over 10 per cent (in Canada). In creating this model, the overarching philosophy is that it will also help a secondary specific need in the community.