The only little corner shop in Nicholson has become somewhat of a community landmark.
Officially called South Side Grocery, the Nicholson store has been around for about 50 years, with the past eight under the ownership of Mike and Sandra Mills.
“We were here visiting my parents, and we thought it was a good store,” said Mike, who grew up in the area. He and Sandra had met in Edmonton when she was going to cooking school, and then moved up to Fort Nelson.
They had just had a little girl, and decided it was time to leave Fort Nelson, so they bought the store. “It was a little run down when we bought it,” said Sandra. Over the years the Mills have made some changes, the most recent of which was adding the cafe area last year.
“We also just changed the coffee to Oso Negro out of Nelson, and that’s been great,” said Mike. Previously they had been brewing Van Houte.
“It’s unbelievable how people have responded to it. There’s one young guy in town, and he brings his buddies out here all the time for coffee. They come out just for a coffee. It’s been really good, and we’ve been selling it by the bag as well,” said Sandra.
The store, which has a bit of everything, sells a selection of groceries and household items, fireworks, gas, homemade food, and a bit of hockey memorabilia such as jerseys and hats.
Sandra makes all the homemade food, but lately has been getting a bit of help.
“Our oldest, she’s eight years old, and she has started making cookies for the store. She told me the other day that she wants to open a pastry shop when she’s older. She has two different recipes that she can do completely on her own,” said Sandra.
The community in Nicholson has been very supportive of the store, and the Mills especially enjoy being part of community events. They hosted a Family Fun Night to raise money for the Make a Wish Foundation, and are looking forward to Halloween.
“We do pumpkin carving with the school (Nicholson Elementary) every year,” said Mike. “We donate all the pumpkins, they carve them, and then bring them here.”
“We love it here. I love Golden too, but out here, the community is just so great. We just did a Fun Night where we raised money, and to see all the people show up for that was great,” said Sandra. “It’s amazing the amount of people who could go to town and get things cheaper, but choose to support us all the time. We really notice that.”
The Nicholson store is located next to Nicholson Elementary school on Nicholson Frontage Road. Stop in to get your Halloween fireworks, or come in on Wacky Wednesdays to get three and a half cents off your gas.