The Saint-Isidore Valu-mart will be closing on December 4, leaving the small village of 800 people with nowhere local to get their groceries. The store has served Saint-Isidore and the surrounding area in The Nation for decades, but the owners are retiring after 30 years of being in business and as of December, the closest place to get most groceries will be 20 kilometres away in Casselman.
“We are talking about a village, a community that is really aging, with reduced mobility,” said Josée Laramée, a Saint-Isidore resident of 15 years. “There are people who walk, who come to the grocery store, who walk to their homes to get their groceries. They don't always have a car.”
Owners Jacques and Lyne Roy have had no luck in finding someone to take over the business, despite it being the only grocery store around. The store’s 20 employees have already been hired on elsewhere in the region, but the business has been listed on Realtor.ca for a month and a half now with no takers. The business, located at 4512 St Catherine Street West is listed as MLS number 1265367 and is currently priced at $949,000.
Councillor Alain Mainville, whose ward includes Saint-Isidore, said that The Nation council is unable to act in any meaningful way.
“I was hoping all along that someone would step up to the plate somewhere,” he said. “It is not the municipal council that must take over.”