The Richmond family, owners of the 49th Parallel grocery store chain in the mid-Island, were on hand for the opening of the company’s fifth location at Berkey’s Corner on March 2. Pictured, from left, are Peter, the company’s CEO, his mother Harmina, sister Kathy and father Wayne in front of the new store. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

The Richmond family, owners of the 49th Parallel grocery store chain in the mid-Island, were on hand for the opening of the company’s fifth location at Berkey’s Corner on March 2. Pictured, from left, are Peter, the company’s CEO, his mother Harmina, sister Kathy and father Wayne in front of the new store. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

49th Parallel opens new location in the Duncan area

New spot in the Berkey’s Corner area in addition to existing Duncan store

The 49th Parallel grocery store chain opened its fifth location on Vancouver Island in the Berkey’s Corner neighbourhood of North Cowichan on March 2.

The family-owned independent business operates stores in Chemainus, Ladysmith, Cedar and now two in the Duncan area.

Peter Richmond, CEO of 49th Parallel, said the long-standing but smaller store near Cairnsmore Street will continue to operate.

He said the family always wanted a bigger store in the Duncan area, and chose the location at Berkey’s Corner to build it.

“My dad [Wayne] grew up in this area and the plan to build this [25,000 sq. ft.] store was a long time coming,” Richmond said.

“We intend to circle back to the store on Cairnsmore Street and reconfigure it in some way, but we fully intend to keep it open.”

49th Parallel started in Ladysmith in the 1940s as a coffee shop.

The business of six employees was purchased in 1977 by Wayne and Harmina Richmond, Peter’s parents, and has been growing steadily ever since.

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