A pop-up snack stop for truckers – and their vehicles – has appeared in Yellowknife’s Engle Business District for this year’s ice road season.
Jennifer Eggenberger, of Camco Construction and DJ’s Towing, opened Aud’s Odds and Ends in a small, portable unit on Eagle Drive at the end of January. The store will stay open until the ice road closes, usually in late March.
Inside, shelves of snacks and drinks are accompanied by essentials for the road.
“We’ve got basics for you and basics for your truck, like last-minute fluids, gloves, or cleaning supplies. We hope we have a little bit of everything,” Eggenberger told Cabin Radio on Wednesday.
She said the idea for the store was borne of her own experience with drivers using the ice road north to the NWT’s three operational diamond mines.
“One of the issues that always came up with our drivers was having to leave to go in and find stuff – snacks and whatever else,” she said. “That cuts down on their ability to go driving, and there are not a lot of places they can take their trucks.
“So we thought we’d put something out here and make it easier for them to stop and pick up what they need before they hit the ice roads.”
Eggenberger worked with Edmonton-based Container King for her new store’s portable home, adding “the City of Yellowknife and everybody were really good to work with” as she set up shop.
So far, business is quiet, but Eggenberger expects an improvement soon.
“It’s a little bit slow but the ice road, I understand, is a bit slow this year too,” she said. “I think things will pick up once people know we’re here and what we have. If things go well this year, then I can see us back again.”
Once the ice disappears, there may even be a summer home for the new store.
Eggenberger said some customers had suggested moving the store to Prelude Lake for the summer.