Pasadena liquor store moving to new location
PASADENA — A petition, whose origin is still a mystery, and several supportive phone calls could not keep the Pasadena Liquor Store at its current location. The store will move just down the road to the Irving service station by the middle of this month.
The current store, next to the Foodland grocery store on the main road in Pasadena, has been run by Bert and Judy Wareham for the past 17 years. They received the news last week and Judy said they were disappointed, but overwhelmed by the support they received.
“I understand there were letters written, phone calls, everything was done by people who supported us, but it just didn’t change (the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation’s) mind,” she said. “People were telling us that they love this location, but it doesn’t matter now.”
Liquor Corporation spokesperson Greg Gill told The Western Star last month that the Pasadena Liquor Store was at the end of a five-year contract term. He said Thursday it listened to the Warehams’ points about how to improve their location, but in the end decided to go with the new locale.
”It was determined that the original decision would stay in place because the offer from the Irving was still the better proposal which still provided the best benefits,” said Gill. “We believe it will be a better, more convenient shopping environment.”
He said those benefits include longer hours, newer facilities such as walk-in beer cooler and a dedicated cash register for alcohol sales. Gill said there will be just as many, possibly more products offered as the current location and, once the renovations to the service station — which are currently ongoing — are completed, it will look more aesthetically pleasing.
The Warehams maintained their location was the better choice, offering extended parking, wheelchair accessibility and a more discrete shopping experience for their customers. Judy said they also have files from the corporation stating a high level of satisfaction for how they were running the business.
“We have a filing cabinet full of good store reports from the area manager, we did anything they suggested to change or improve over the years,” she said. “We don’t think we were treated very fairly, we’ve been here 17 years and we feel like we’ve been fired. When something is taken away from you and you think you’ve been doing a good job, it hurts.”
Gill said he hoped the Warehams would not take the decision personally, stating it was business.
“We have a revenue stream that we have to maintain and improve, our job is to sell products to generate a revenue stream for the province,” he said. “We try to approach it as a private business whenever possible and we look at every opportunity to maximize revenue in the most responsible way.”
Judy said they haven’t been given an exact closing date, but documents they have seen state that they will finish up in the area by mid-October. She said they will most likely retire.
“It’s sooner than we wanted to, but there it is,” she said. “We have grandchildren we are looking forward to spending time with and hopefully we can do some traveling.”
In August, Gill it’s a similar situation to what’s happening in Deer Lake, where the contract for Colemans supermarket’s liquor aisle is set to expire later this year. Last week there is no word yet as to what is happening there.