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Arcola Food's new owners happy to be in small town

The staff that had worked previously at the store remained on and another employee has been hired, bringing the total to six.
Rakesh and Bharti Patel enjoy living in Arcola and being the new owners of Arcola

ARCOLA - The Arcola Food grocery store has new owners, and they are happy to be living in the small community.

Rakesh Patel and his wife Bharti took over the role on March 24.

The couple immigrated to Canada in 2009 from a small town in India, which was located close to Mumbai. First residing in Regina, they moved to Outlook after they and Rakesh's brother purchased a retail business, which they still own together.

For several years, the couple had been looking for a business in a small community and this is when they came across the Arcola Food store. It was originally Chapman's and was owned and operated by the Chapman family for years.

Five years ago, they sold the business to Chris Kim and Joanne Sol, who moved to Arcola from Brandon, Man. Kim and Sol immigrated from Korea to Canada and worked for the Co-op retail chain, but they wanted to own their own grocery business.

The store began to have many changes as they brought in a wider variety of food. Loving the feel of the community, they soon bought a house and made Arcola home.

On March 23, they held a thank you for all their customers by offering coffee and donuts as a farewell for the store and not the community. They are not sure yet what they will do for the next chapter in their lives.

As for the new owners, they moved into Arcola right away as they love small communities and already feel at home in Arcola. The staff that had worked previously at the store remained on and Patel has already hired another employee, bringing the total to six.

He hopes this will bring ease the staff’s work load, but they will always bring great customer service to their customers.

Patel and Bharti often make trips into the city and other towns to look in grocery stores for ideas and selection. They have already brought in many new products but wish to bring in what customers are asking for.

The produce department has a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, with homemade salads for lunches. Sandwiches and hot meals are also part of the variety they offer, with many items made fresh daily.

The meat and freezer department are also well stocked with a large baked goods area.

Patel said the first month was a little challenging as he takes care of the ordering, and there was a lot to learn, while Bharti and the staff tend to stocking shelves, preparing food and looking after the customers.

Enjoying their new role as owners, Patel said, “The customers have been great and are very friendly, and we look forward to making new friends and building this place as home.”