History repeats itself at local general store in Tignish
by Rose Bernard
For the last 30 years now, Eugene’s General Store on Church Street in the community of Tignish has been owned and operated by Joanne and Tommy Perry.
Tommy’s parents, Anne Marie and Eugene Perry, were the original owners of the business. They operated it from 1948 to 1976, until they retired and sold it. It remained out of the family for 10 years, until it went back up for sale in 1986.
When Joanne and Tommy got a call from his father Eugene, they made the decision to move back to Tignish from Toronto to become the new owners, and the rest is history.
This busy convenience store has products ranging from breads, milk, fresh cut meats, local produce when available, plus pots of hot fresh coffee. Service at the coffee drive thru begins at 3:30 am during the fishing season.
Eugene’s is also a popular spot for lotto ticket sales. The $1 million ticket sold there 12 years ago is still talked about.
Eugene’s is a year-round business. “Sometimes, looking to hire staff for year-round work can be a challenge,” says Joanne. “We always strive to hire people who are dependable and trustworthy.”
When looking for staff, experience and education level is not considered as important as a willingness to learn the many aspects of the job.
“There was a time when 20 people were employed here,” says Joanne. “Presently, we have 17 in total. This number includes some students who come back each summer because they feel like they are part of the Eugene family and are proud of it.”
The Perrys and some of their staff are fluent in both English and French, which is an asset when speaking with customers.
“Extra care is put into work schedules to be fair to all employees, including students,” says Joanne. “When a new person is hired, a period of time is used for training, and then they have to be ready to work independently.”
Joanne says there is some lifting and moving products to keep the shelves clean and stocked, but there is always more than one worker around to share the work load.
Many great suppliers
Eugene’s has many dependable suppliers including MacQuarrie’s Meats, located in Winsloe, PEI. “This company has provided loyal service for over 15 years,” says Tommy.
Closer to home is Barry Clohossey. Barry and his wife Darlene grow a variety of vegetables. “During the season Barry keeps the speciality shelves stocked,” says Tommy. “During the busy strawberry season he makes extra trips daily. This service is appreciated by all.”
Eugene’s is also quite proud to be selling Bakin’ Donuts Coffee, which is only available on PEI. This led to the opening of their Drive Thru over 13 years ago, and has created an extra six job positions in their business.
How to apply
The best way to apply for a position at Eugene’s General Store & Drive Thru is to drop off a resumè in person. Resumès are kept on file to be referred to when a job becomes available.
For more information, contact Joanne and Tommy Perry at 902-882-2144 or email [email protected].
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