Recent History – 2002-2003
October 29, 2002
By Mark Nielsen, Daily News Staff
A major competitor for Dawson Creek’s grocery dollar opened its doors Monday morning — and a little sooner than expected.
A ribbon cutting to mark the grand opening of Extra Foods was held slightly ahead of schedule so that the growing line-up of curious shoppers could be let in slightly sooner that the official 9 a.m. time.
Inside, they found a spacious and brightly-lit supermarket that carries both a full complement of groceries and an extensive selection of health products and general merchandise.
Owner-operator Geoff Skinner said the 40,000-square-foot store that has 75 people on the payroll is a “new-line” Extra Foods.
“We have the in-store bakery, fresh home-made deli-items, fresh top-quality produce; everything Extra Foods buys is the best, the best apples, the best oranges.
“We try and stress freshness, lowest prices and best quality.”
Along with groceries, Extra Foods carries a wide range of general merchandise, including children’s clothing and baby accessories.
“We try and supply the consumer with everything he can possibly get in a one-stop shop idea,” Skinner said.
Extra Foods is part of the Loblaw’s-Westfair Foods chain, which also runs the bigger sister Real Canadian Superstore. Like Real Canadian, Extra Foods carries the President’s Choice brand name.
Located on Alaska Avenue near 15th Street, it amounts to the last chance for groceries in Dawson Creek before tourists head up the Alaska Highway.
It’s also becomes the largest grocery presence on the west side of the city, similar to the Safeway on the southeast side. Skinner noted that Extra Foods is situated next to plenty of residential area.
With the opening, there are now five major grocery stores in Dawson Creek — the others being IGA, Dawson Co-op, Joey’s PriceSmart and Safeway.
Skinner said that Extra Foods is committed to being the “price leader” in Dawson Creek. “That is our mandate. So on our coupon board we post all our competitor’s prices and we either meet or beat whatever they’re selling.
“All flyer items, if we carry them, [will be] at that flyer price at Extra Foods.”
Mayor Wayne Dahlen cut the ribbon. “This development is very significant for our city,” he said. “Developers have recognized our strategic location in the region; we are indeed a major service centre.”
Along with opening for business, Extra Foods launched a gas war, reducing the price of regular to 72.4 cents per litre plus another 5 cents per litre with Superbucks. Other Dawson Creek gas stations soon followed suit with posted prices of 72.4 cents and further discounts ranging from 3.5 to seven cents per litre.
When Safeway launched a gas war in January 2001, the posted price dropped to as low as 47.4 cents over the next couple of weeks before discounts.