A Chestermere family is excited to bring a community grocery store to the Kinniburgh area, with the grand opening of Pooja’s Kinnimart on Jan. 8.
“My family and I decided to open an East Indian grocery store in Chestermere because there are no ethnic grocery stores here. People have to drive to Calgary to get their groceries,” said Pooja’s Kinnimart Owner, Shivani Gupta.
“The grand opening went really well; our first customer was Mayor Chalmers. We were very excited that he made time in his busy schedule to come out and support us,” she added. “Later in the afternoon, our Honourable Minister of Culture, Multiculturism, and Status of Women Leela Aheer came by which we appreciated very much. It is really nice of them to come by and show the community spirit.”
When Gupta moved to the Kinniburgh area three years ago, there wasn’t anything around as it was a new and developing area.
“One day we were talking with each other, and we thought it would be pretty nice to have a grocery store around the corner,” Gupta said.
“If you’re cooking something, you need to drive at least 15 minutes either way, even if all you need is some milk or bread. When you have little kids sometimes you just can’t. Now that it’s around the corner it’s convenient,” she said.
Through the first week of Pooja’s Kinnimart being open, Gupta has received an overwhelming amount of support from the Chestermere community.
“The community has been really welcoming, and everybody is really delighted that we are there because we try to cater to everybody’s needs,” Gupta said.
“So far, the response has been quite positive, we are really pleased we opened the store. The school kids come in for candy, chips and pop which is nice. Anybody who comes in says they are so glad that we are open,” she said.
Gupta is now working to ensure any item that a customer wants is available at the store.
“We have a list going and we are going to keep adding more items from suppliers. Our main goal is to take care of everybody living here,” Gupta said.
Going forward, Gupta’s ultimate goal for Pooja’s Kinnimart is to be the go-to community grocery store.
“Anybody can come here for their groceries. Chestermere doesn’t have an East Indian grocery store and we’re hoping people from the other side of the lake will come here as well,” Gupta said.
Adding, “We hope that everybody in the community will come by and we’re trying to make sure everybody’s needs are met.”