The Chilliwack IGA on Menzies is slated to close for good on Feb. 15, 2020. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

The Chilliwack IGA on Menzies is slated to close for good on Feb. 15, 2020. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

Chilliwack IGA is shutting its doors for good

In the end the owner and lessee could not come to a satisfactory agreement, says franchise owner

A neighbourhood grocery store is set to close on Menzies Street, and with it goes a chapter of Chilliwack retail that many remember fondly.

The Chilliwack IGA will be closing its doors for good on Feb. 15, according to owner Gord Schilling and the sign outside the store.

Schilling has owned the Chilliwack IGA franchise for the past five years, after selling his store in Murrayville and moving to Chilliwack. The Menzies IGA was independent, and not owned by Sobeys the way some are.

“It was lease issues. We were coming off a long-term lease,” Schilling said, explaining the reason for store closure. “We couldn’t come to an agreement.”

With ever-increasing costs of doing business, sometimes it’s impossible for smaller retaillers to make a living, he said.

But many regulars are quite unhappy about the imminent closure.

“I shopped there with my grandmother over 40 years ago,” wrote Dawn Stott on Facebook. “It’s terrible for the neighbourhood. The store is so convenient and keeps the area busy.”

There are dozens of posts like that one on the topic, some from folks who’ve shopped there all their lives.

“We are going to miss it greatly,” posted Kristine Lande in one thread. “Love the people, love the size, the location, the butcher, the bread. Grew up on Riverside Drive, and have been shopping there all my life.”

Customers rave about the meat department, and the bakery.

“Those were some of our strengths,” Schilling said.

Three of the veteran meat cutters at the store had 100 years of experience between them.

“It’s personalized service where everyone knows everyone. You just don’t get that anymore.”

All of that tends to fall by the wayside in a larger store, he noted.

As far as what will happen ultimately to the Menzies Street property, Schilling said “no one is talking” from the management company he has been dealing with, but there is lots of speculation by the public.

A dollar store and condos are two of the guesses.

Long-time customer Judith Davies remembers shopping across the street at the grocery store back when it was owned by Irvin Abrams, where the liquor store is now, and all its incarnations, before the IGA opened.

“It’s a wonderful store,” Davies said about the IGA. “It’s a smaller store where you can do your main shopping.”

There is nothing else like it on that side of town, and a dollar store, if that’s what is coming, won’t cut it.

“A lot of people are very unhappy,” she said. “We’ll have to go all the way downtown, which is a pain.”

Schilling said he totally understands the frustration.

“It’s a neighbourhood store and it’s convenient for pensioners and others who don’t want to go the extra 10 minutes to the other stores.

“They are going to miss it in that respect.”

READ MORE: Chilliwack retail landscape to change with FreshCo

READ MORE: New owners for Cottonwood Mall

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

City of ChilliwackGroceriesRetail

Just Posted

These three kittens, seen here on Thursday, June 10, 2021, are just some of many up for adoption at the Chilliwack SPCA. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Three kittens at the Chilliwack SPCA

Kittens were in ‘rough shape’ when they came into the Chilliwack SPCA, now ready for adoption

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Chilliwack family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A new sign was installed at St. Thomas Anglican Church on Saturday, June 5, 2021 in Chilliwack. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Community effort to install new sign at Chilliwack’s oldest church

‘We feel it’s a step in the right direction to bring the church up-to-date,’ says St. Thomas parishioner

Dennis Saulnier rescued his daughters, two-year-old Brinley (left) and four-year-old Keegan, after their truck was driven off the road and into Cultus Lake on May 16, 2020. Reporter Jenna Hauck has been recognized by the B.C. and Yukon Community Newspapers Association for her story on the rescue. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)
Chilliwack Progress, Hope Standard staff take home 7 Ma Murray awards

Jenna Hauck, Eric Welsh, Jessica Peters, Emelie Peacock all earn journalism industry recognition

A student prepares to throw a plate full of whipped cream at principal Jim Egdcombe’s face as vice principal Devin Atkins watches as part of a fundraiser at Leary Integrated Arts and Technology elementary on Friday, June 11, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
The pied principals: Chilliwack elementary staff get messy for charity

Cops for Cancer fundraiser saw kids ‘pie the principal’ at Leary elementary in Chilliwack

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read