After being closed for nine months, the Kicking Horse General Store has reopened for the 2012 season.
“This store was privately owned by an English couple, who tried to sell it about 10 months ago, and they just weren’t able to. Long story short, they moved on and Kicking Horse took over the store,” said Brian Siff, store manager.
The store officially re-opened in December, and has been keeping pretty busy.
“It’s been a really great season so far, and the feedback’s been great. We’ve been really happy,” said Siff. “We just want to let people know that we’re open. I think a lot of people park in the Daylodge parking lot, buy their ticket, go straight to the gondola, and don’t know we’re here.”
The store, located at the far end of the resort near the new learning centre, has made very few changes to what they considered to be an excellent store. “Not much has changed. We’ve basically just tried to make it a bit more approachable, it was fairly high end originally. But otherwise we didn’t try to reinvent the wheel. They had a really beautiful store,” said Siff.
“They designed the store. All the wood you see is reclaimed wood from a Vancouver warehouse. They put their heart and soul into it. They wanted to create a true general store where they had a little bit of everything.”
On the food side of things, the General Store has brought the prices down, in an effort to broaden the appeal, and brought in more products so that people staying at the hill can buy what they need, and skiers can stop in and get an affordable lunch and a cup of coffee. “On the grocery side of things, the prices have come down a lot. We’re trying to bring in a lot of food options as an alternative to some of the restaurants. People can come in and eat for a little bit cheaper,” said Siff.
They have bread, meats and cheeses for people who want to make their own lunch, as well as pre-made sandwiches from the Whitetooth Grill, sausage rolls, veggie samosas, burritos and other microwavable items, as well as a microwave.
“I know a lot of staff and locals have been pretty happy with that. They don’t have to pay $15 for lunch every day.”
The shop has also put a lot of time and energy into their selection of beer and wines. They have increased their variety of local brands, and currently have some that can’t be found anywhere else in town.
“We have a lot more beer. They always had a great selection of wines, but we’ve brought in a few more B.C. wines. All of the ones you can find up in the Eagle’s Eye we have here. A lot of them you can’t find in town,” said Siff.
“Herder is a fantastic new winery in British Columbia. We have three of their wines. We have our own private label as well, which is pretty nice. It’s a new wine from Kicking Horse, called Redemption Red. It’s been flying off the shelf because it’s a unique kind of gift.”
The General Store is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, and until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.