Tseshaht Market holds grand re-opening to celebrate partnership with Western Nations

Port Alberni, BC

After closing the gas pumps for upgrades on Sept. 12, Tseshaht Market celebrated their grand re-opening in partnership with Western Nations as their new fuel supplier, on Saturday, Oct. 29.

With their previous contract coming to a close, Tseshaht Market found Western Nations, supplied by Federation Co-operatives Limited, to be a brand well aligned with their values and aspirations.

Richard Watts, member of the board of directors for Tseshaht Market, said that common aspirations between Federation Co-operatives Ltd. and First Nations is their focus on community. “To me, Co-op was a natural fit for First Nations people because we're always all for one, one for all.”

Western Nations, supplied by Federation Co-operatives Limited, is a program for local and Indigenous owned gas bars. The program supplies and supports Indigenous communities and have community as a centered value offering community-building and assistance programs. They also offer operational support, are a trusted brand, and are a local supplier.

Dave Heinrichs, General Manager of Alberni District Co-op, said that they are looking forward to building community. “We're extremely happy to work with somebody local,” said Heinrichs.

Tseshaht Market first opened in 1979, as a much smaller rendition, with two gas pumps. Later that year it was destroyed in a fire and was rebuilt, opening again in 1981. Since then, the gas bar underwent a period of construction and expansion in 2000.

The market offers a range of services from fuel to firewood, ice cream, takeout food, and fresh produce among some.

Dennis Bill, Tseshaht Market Chair, said he likes the new look of the gas bar, and hopes that combined with the pay at the pump service, they will bring in more customers.

“We're both community minded businesses,” said Bill. “We support the local community; we support local events and community events.”

Melissa Renwick, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Ha-Shilth-Sa