Country Grocer goes green at Green Rock

Country Grocer got the green light to open its Green Rock store on the weekend and is gearing up for a week-long November grand opening.

The 43,000 sq. ft. store hosted its soft opening for the public Saturday.

"It's now the largest store in the chain and it's the highest up on the Island. We call it our north store," said Tyler Large, assistant store manager.

The outlet is the seventh in the Salt Spring Island-based chain, established in 1986, and is the second Country Grocer in Nanaimo following the opening of the store in Chase River.

The new store is expected to be a big draw for the new Green Rock development on Bowen Road, which will become a new retail node in central Nanaimo.

Green Rock Country Grocer includes full service meat, seafood, deli and bakery counters, a cafe and  other services and is built to green standards with eco-friendly features that include landscaping features such as bio-swales to control rainwater runoff and rain gardens. Investments in energy conservation include a heat reclamation unit that captures waste heat to warm the building.

"We have the highest-end lighting and electrical to save ourselves some money on that as well," Large said. "I think the payback time on that is approximately two and a half years."

The store employs more than 110 people - the company now employs more than 700 - and will serve an estimated population of up to 30,000 central Nanaimo residents with a five-kilometre radius.

Country Grocer will host a week-long grand opening celebration for the Green Rock store Nov. 11-18.

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