Business

Family celebrates Langford grocery icon’s anniversary with special day

<p>(From left) Laura Lum, Ed Low, Brenda Murison, Gedalia Taparan, Josie Turner, (back row) Rick Greenhough and Paul McKinnon are part of the Western Foods family looking forward to celebrating the store’s 43rd anniversary on May 27. Rick Stiebel/News Gazette staff</p> -

(From left) Laura Lum, Ed Low, Brenda Murison, Gedalia Taparan, Josie Turner, (back row) Rick Greenhough and Paul McKinnon are part of the Western Foods family looking forward to celebrating the store’s 43rd anniversary on May 27. Rick Stiebel/News Gazette staff

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You can’t run a business for 43 years without a devoted staff and a strong connection to the community.

Those are key elements to why Laura Lum and Ed Low, co-owners of Western Foods on Goldstream Avenue, believe their family business has been so successful in this age of big box stores. Their father opened the grocery store that’s been a Langford staple since 1974.

“It’s important to be involved in giving back to the community, especially if you’re locally owned and operated,” Low said. “We have always done that, and I think it’s why we have so many loyal customers. It makes you feel like you’re doing something right.”

Western Foods supports local students through high school scholarships, sponsors West Shore sports teams and continues the tradition of seniors day discounts every Thursday.

Many of the customers from their father’s original store in Esquimalt followed him to the Langford location, which doubled in size in 1995, Lum noted. “I think that speaks to customer service as well and our staff deserves a lot of credit for that. We’re fortunate to have some employees who have been with us for between 20 and 30 years.”

Both agree the improvements around Langford have added to the number of young families that have moved here and allowed their customer base to grow.

“The landscaping, flowers, paving stones, the fountain; Langford council has taken a smart approach to affordable density,” Low said. “The downtown core has a walkable village feel. There’s so many changes since the ’70s.”

Lum said council initiatives have enabled numerous positive changes to the city. “It’s a great place for young families now,” she added.

Western Foods will celebrate its 43rd birthday on May 27 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a day of family fun and events. There will be Tickles the clown, face painting, lots of free samples, demonstrations, cake, music by a local school band and a wheel of fortune everyone can spin for a prize. Langford Fire Rescue will be there as well with a barbecue by donation, with all proceeds to Muscular Dystrophy.

“There will be lots of one day specials and fun for the family,” Low said. “I hope the weather co-operates, but whatever it’ll be a great day.”

Lum is looking forward to the opportunity to say thank you to the community for its support throughout the years. “It will be a chance to say hi to so many old friends.”

reporter@goldstreamgazette.com

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