BY VOICE STAFF
North Pelham’s Avondale Convenience Store will close on March 22, marking the end of a store that has serviced residents for decades.
“It really sucks,” said Lucas Ward, who grew up almost directly across the street from the shop. “I went there all the time for Popsicles and freezies in the summer. On Halloween, Donna [the store’s manager] would hand out little goodie bags. All the ladies knew us by name, and asked how we were and such,” said Ward.
“It’s nice being so close—if we run out of milk or something else small, we can run down and grab it easily,” he said.
Avondale began as a dairy operation and milk delivery in 1931, but eventually grew to operate 90 convenience stores in Niagara, Hamilton, and Haldimand. The Avondale Dairy Bar was built in 1955, and the company opened its first convenience store in 1965. In 1969, the dairy portion of the operation was acquired by Beatrice Foods, with the stores remaining under Avondale control.
Repeated voicemail and email requests from Avondale’s head office for an explanation, or for comment on rumours that multiple Avondale stores will be closed, went unanswered over a period of several weeks.
The closure of the shop marks a series of shutterings that have troubled residents of North Pelham and Fenwick. Minor Brothers Farm Supply in North Pelham will move to a location on Highway 20, while the hardware store in Fenwick has already closed. The RBC in Fenwick will close this spring, merging with the Fonthill branch, and the vintage shop Friday’s Child is slated to move to St. Paul Street in St. Catharines.