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Published On: Friday, 12 May 2017

Business Contributes to Creating a Welcome Community

Business Contributes to Creating a Welcome Community
View Royal Mayor David Screech, owner Mary Scheer cut the red ribbon at the grand opening of Island Afrikan Supermarket in the West Shore. (Photo Credit: Sarah Henderson, WestShore Chamber of Commerce)

- Julie Lawlor is the Executive Director at the WestShore Chamber of Commerce. You can reach her at 250.478.1130 or jlawlor@westshore.bc.ca.

WEST SHORE - Have you heard about the Greater Victoria Local Immigration Partnership (GVLIP)? Co-championed by the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria, Vancity Savings and the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Society, this Partnership is funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

Its initial direction “is to engage a diverse group of stakeholders in imagining, exploring, and embracing a shared goal and direction for building a more welcoming community for newcomer immigrants and refugees.”

This matters for a whole host of reasons, but from an economic standpoint we know that newcomers to Canada already have, and will continue to have, a profound impact on driving the Canadian economy.

With this in mind I’d like to introduce you to the West Shore’s Island Afrikan Supermarket, which first opened its doors in November 2016. After its December Grand Opening was snowed off, the event was postponed until the weather improved, taking place instead on April 4th.

In the company of View Royal Mayor David Screech, owner Mary Scheer cut the red ribbon and invited fellow WestShore Chamber members, supporters and the public in for African food and a special shopping day.

Originally from Ghana, Mary’s move to the Island is from Vancouver, where she lived for fifteen years. Mary and her family moved to Vancouver Island because they love the feel of the community and the environment here.

One drawback Mary found after the move was that many of the products she used and could easily access in Vancouver are not readily available on southern Vancouver Island. Mary decided to transform a drawback into an opportunity, and Island Afrikan Supermarket was born. The store is a treasure trove of art, men and women’s clothing, food, footwear, skin care, hair extensions and wigs, and jewellery.

Island Afrikan Supermarket is located at 1610 Island Highway between View Royal Casino and the 6 Mile Pub and is easily accessed when travelling from either direction. I hope you will join me in welcoming Mary to our community by stopping by to say hello and check out what the Supermarket can offer to you.

For information about the GVLIP contact Steven Lorenzo Baileys of ICA at: sbaileys@icavictoria.org.