Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION

Sneak Peek at Neechi’s new place

  • Print

After much planning and even more construction, managers of the new Neechi Commons are preparing to throw open the doors to the establishment.

Neechi Commons, a 30,000-sq. ft. grocery store and restaurant complex in the city’s North End, is nearly ready to open. A select group of visitors were granted access to the new store, which is still under construction, during the Social Purchasing Portal’s holiday shopping tour on Dec. 13.

Neechi Commons will house a grocery store and restaurant, which will both utilize locally-produced food, as well as an art store. Project manager Russ Rothney said the art store will feature a variety of aboriginal products, including mukluks, dreamcatchers and paintings, as well as books and music by aboriginal creators.

"We expect this will be the number one aboriginal cultural store and centre in the city," Rothney said.

The art store’s very creation has been an effort of community artists. April Raintree author Beatrice Cullen, Rothney noted, is one of the carpenters working to install shelving in the art store.

Rothney said Neechi officials are planning for an opening date of Jan. 2, although they had originally hoped to be open before Christmas.

"We’re very optimistic, but we’re sad we couldn’t get opened before the Christmas season, but there’s incredible excitement both among our staff and in the neighbourhood. We’re feeling very buoyant," he said.

Rothney said the commons will do what Neechi Foods Co-op has already been doing for years— housing a little bit of everything under one roof— it’s just doing it bigger and bolder.

"It evolved from that. But it’s all about providing health and human dignity to people," Rothney said.

"That’s where the artistic, cultural aspect hooks in, with consciousness about local foods. A lot of the local foods featured are traditional foods, whether it’s Manitoba fish or wild rice."

Louise Champagne, president of Neechi Foods Co-op Ltd., said being located on the east side of Main Street means commuters heading home to north Winnipeg will be in a perfect position to stop in and shop for local products.

But what excites her the most is the potential the place has for changing the community.

"The potential for being a regional food centre, where we buy local as much as possible, and sell to anyone who wants to buy local," she said.

"We’re creating outlets for a lot of producers here in the region and making that available to the North End... It’s the potential for success, and we really do need more successful models in our society."

Champagne said Neechi is interested in getting the community involved in a very real way, by offering shares for sale.

"We’re a co-op, we’ve got permission to sell outside of our membership, so we’ve got a public share offering out there," she said.

"We’re giving people an opportunity to invest here. This is not a charity, it’s asking people to invest their money into an enterprise that turns around and around, and keeps making the local economy work for the local people here."

Neechi hosted a pair of meetings at the Commons on Dec. 14 and 15 for just that purpose. Members are also encouraging local residents to host their own meetings about getting involved and invite Neechi to come and speak about shareholder opportunities and other ways to get involved.

To contact Neechi, e-mail neechifoods@shaw.ca or call (204) 586-3798.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Readers' Choice Awards

Best Of Winnipeg Readers Survey

See the results of the 2014 Canstar Community News Best of Winnipeg Readers' Survey.

View Results

This Just In Twitter bird

Poll

Are you concerned about West Nile Virus?

View Results