A Winnipeg family is hoping to breath life into two recently-shuttered grocery stores in the North End and St. James.
In a recent interview, Moe Zeid confirmed he is still looking to purchase the former Food Fare at Arlington Street and Polson Avenue after it closed suddenly in mid-March.
Zeid, who owns four Food Fare locations in St. James, the West End, West Broadway and Corydon Village, said he’s still hoping to purchase the building after former store owner Nino Cantafio closed the doors after reportedly falling behind in rent payments.
"If (the building owner) wants to move fast we are ready to go," said Zeid.
"It could be done in a month, no problem."
Zeid said he’s only interested in the location if he’s able to purchase the building outright.
"I refuse to buy any business without owning the land," he said, noting the building’s owner lives in Kenora.
Zeid said he’s been encouraged by the response he’s received from the North End community.
"We have calls from that area every day. People want us to go there," he said.
"It’s convenient for the neighbourhood to have a store in that area."
Zeid will also reopen a former Sobey’s location, which closed May 1 in St. James, under the Food Fare banner on May 8.
Crestview residents were stunned earlier this month when the grocery giant announced it was closing its small 12,000 sq. ft Cavalier Drive location because of shifting demographics and nearby competition.
Zeid, a St. James resident, has been in the grocery business since 1976 and has operated Food Fare franchises since 1988.
He believes the store will be successful for much of the same reasons he believes the Arlington Street location will — a community grocer in the middle of a residential neighbourhood.
"I know exactly what you can do in those stores," he said.
Zeid plans to hire between 40 to 50 part-time and full-time staff, including two in-store butchers.