Down to Business: More than just meat at new Meridian Market in Maple Ridge

Josh Penner outside the new Meridian Farm Market store in Maple Ridge. - Eric Zimmer / TIMES
Josh Penner outside the new Meridian Farm Market store in Maple Ridge.
— image credit: Eric Zimmer / TIMES

Josh Penner was all smiles as he toured me around the new Meridian Farm Market Store recently.

The store, located on the corner of 227th Street and Dewdney Trunk Road, is slated for opening within the first two week of this month, and Penner, the president of Meridian Meats and Seafood, was hard-pressed to contain his excitement.

“The difference between what we have been doing, and what we’re doing now, is this is a full market concept: we sell meats, we sell produce, we have a deli, baked goods, and a little bit of grocery as well – sort of like your one-stop fresh foods shop,” he said.

It also makes him smile to describe the store as “truly” local.

“It’s my two brothers and my wife that are the partners. We all live here in east Maple Ridge, and we got to build our office right here where we live.”

This also meant holding a successful on-site hiring fair, which saw “about 250 people” come through the doors of the new building.

In the end, about 40 people, including managers were hired, but “we interviewed every single person one-on-one at least once,” Penner noted.

The new store is the company’s “flagship store” and head office location as well.

Man cashes in

Stopping into a Maple Ridge 7-Eleven for a cold drink paid dividends for a local man recently.

And it’s safe to say Cody Parsons has enough spare change now to afford a few more stops at the convenience store. Parsons – who had the 7-Eleven app on his phone – was automatically entered into a  nation-wide contest, in which one of the prizes was $1,000 cash.

“The app has been around for about a year, and has met a very positive response,” said Charis Whitbourne, of Peak Communicators Ltd.

“This contest specifically (7Rewards Cash Contest) was for the month of April and May, with seven winners chosen at random from the app to win $1,000 each.”

And Parsons just happened to be the first to win the prize.

Congrats Cody!

Big Macs, big smiles

For some families across the country, Wednesday was an especially meaningful day: McHappy Day.

It’s the day when McDonald’s restaurants across Canada, including here in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows inspired guests to unite in support of the 14 Ronald McDonald Houses and other local children’s charities.

All day, one dollar from every Big Mac, Happy Meal, and hot McCafe beverage sold went towards sick kids and their families.

This year guests were also be able to support families through a $1 McHappy Day donation button.

“McHappy Day is a long-standing Canadian tradition and is at the heart of who we are and what we do at McDonald’s Canada,” said McDonald’s Canada CEO John Betts.

The one-day fundraising event supports local children’s charities, as well as the 13 family rooms and 14 Ronald McDonald Houses across Canada, that provide comfort and care to more than 20,000 families each year as their children are treated at a nearby hospital.

Watch this story online, and I’ll tell you how we did.

Telus invests

TELUS will invest $3.5 million in new infrastructure and facilities in Maple Ridge this year to increase wireless and high-speed Internet capacity to meet the rapidly growing demand, ensuring customers stay connected at home, at work and on the go.

The investment is part of TELUS’ commitment to invest $4.5 billion in B.C., through 2019 to "extend fibre optic infrastructure directly to thousands of homes and businesses in rural and urban communities, further strengthen wireless service, and support key services including healthcare and education with new technologies. By the end of 2019, TELUS will have invested $51 billion in British Columbia since the year 2000," according to a release from Telus.

“As demand for Internet and wireless services in Maple Ridge continue to increase, we remain committed to investing in the advanced infrastructure that will not only meet that demand, but also support the future of our digital economy and delivery of critical services such as healthcare and education,” said Jordon West, TELUS Director of Customer Solutions Delivery in Maple Ridge. “Our local investment of $3.5 million this year reflects TELUS’ commitment to provide our neighbours in Maple Ridge with the latest communications technology available anywhere in the world today.”

With "everything from video games to mining equipment relying on connectivity, our community has a growing need for high speed Internet,” said Maple Ridge-Mission MLA Marc Dalton. “Thanks to this investment by TELUS, our residents and businesses will have the network speed and capacity available needed to take full advantage of today’s connected economy.”

Fast and reliable Internet service "is an important part of life in our connected world,” said Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows MLA Doug Bing. “TELUS’ investment aligns with our #BCTECH strategy, which commits to providing residents and businesses with high-speed Internet access to health services, educational resources and economic opportunities.”

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