The new grocery store in Gitanmaax is coming together.
The hiring process for senior positions like general manager, pharmacist and head cashier is underway but the store will also need second-line positions like customer service representatives, stock people and cashiers soon.
It’s anticipated the Gitanmaax Market will require between 55 and 65 employees when it opens.
The market will hold a number of job fairs over the next two months in Smithers, Terrace and Hazelton to help support the recruitment efforts.
Project manager Jay Savage said construction on the 17,000 square-foot building should be done mid-May, with a grand opening scheduled for sometime in June. Construction started last summer.
The grocery store also includes a deli, butcher, bakery and pharmacy.
The Grocery People Ltd. will be the supplier with an average of three shipments a week to start.
Savage said the store will serve a regional population of close to 4,000 people and will offer an alternative for people who travel to Smithers or Terrace to purchase groceries.
The entire project is expected to cost about $6.2 million, which includes construction, inventory and running capital costs.
The store, on Kispiox Valley Road, will be owned and operated by the Gitanmaax Development Corporation.
“The management team will consist of proven track record grocery people who may or may not be local,” said Tom Danyk, who is working with Savage on the project and used to be an employee of the Gitksan Government Commission.
“However, they will be expected to mentor First Nations’ personnel who eventually have demonstrated the willingness and ability to move into management positions as they become available.”