by Stella Shepard
The doors of St. Peter’s Bay General Store have been reopened by brothers Parth and Urmil Patel, who took ownership in December 2021. “The store had been closed for two years,” says Parth. “The community is very supportive and welcoming. Customers tells us every day that they are pleased the store is open again.
“We are open seven days a week and it’s been very busy since we took ownership.” The general store stocks a wide range of everyday items to satisfy the needs of customers. The Patel brothers have applied for a gas license, and plan to install tanks and sell gas in 2023.
Parth, originally from Gujarat, India, which has a population of more than 63 million, moved to PEI in 2013 for employment. Parth gained entrepreneurial skills through hands-on learning as he worked with his grandfather, who owned a business in India.
“I am a production specialist with a pharmaceutical company in Charlottetown,” says Parth. “I decided to buy the store to have a side income that will grow to become full-time employment in the future.” He balances employment with the pharmaceutical company and working at the general store with assistance from Urmil.
Five staff members work at the store, and more hiring takes place for the summer months.
Community Business Development Corporation East (CBDC) located at the Rural Action Centre on Main Street in Montague assists in creating small businesses and in expanding and modernizing existing businesses by providing financial and technical services to entrepreneurs. Services target entrepreneurs who require customized financing not ordinarily available from traditional sources.
CBDC East is staffed by Martina MacDonald, Director, Helen Antle, CBDC Officer, and Terri Taylor, Accounts Officer.
“I had never heard of CBDC East before,” says Parth. “The driver of a car saw me cleaning up the property around the store after I had purchased it. The driver turned the car around and pulled into the parking lot to talk with me.”
The driver, Roger Stedman, past Chair of CBDC East, introduced himself to Parth. “I told Roger I bought the general store,” says Parth. “He told me about the services CBDC East provided and suggested I contact the organization. I took his advice and booked an appointment with the staff.”
The CBDC East staff provided Parth with business-related information. As well, a staff member of CBDC East took Parth next door and introduced him to the Executive Director of the Eastern PEI Chamber of Commerce. He is now a Chamber member.
“CBDC East provided a business loan, which was a very easy process. The staff also offered business-related information that has been very helpful.”
The CBDC East staff followed up with a visit to the St. Peter’s Bay General Store to ask how Parth is doing. “The staff at CBDC East are very approachable. It is good to know I can contact them if I have any business-related questions or concerns.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
contact Parth or Urmil Patel at 902-739-2088 or check Facebook at www.facebook.com/stpetersbaygeneralstore
For more information about Community Business Development Corporation PEI East (CBDC), call 902-838-4030.
For more information about the Eastern PEI Chamber of Commerce, visit www.epeicc.ca