Fort Simpson’s Unity store has relocated across the street from its old premises to a new, bigger location that accommodates more products.
The store is split into two sections. Half carries hardware supplies and the other half acts as a convenience store.
Owner Muaz Hassan says Unity tries to embrace its name by welcoming community members in the way he was greeted when he moved to Fort Simpson, 10 years ago.
“We consider ourselves part of the community and the community part of our store,” he said.
“That’s how we operate. We feel that it is everyone’s store.”
The store held a socially-distanced open house on Monday that involved a ribbon cutting ceremony.
Hassan says the village of Fort Simpson has always been supportive of the store.
“We just wanted all of us to come together and celebrate the opening of this new location,” he said of Monday’s event.
Hassan asked a local resident to translate the word “unity” into Dene Zhatié for a sign to be displayed at the store. He hopes the sign will be ready by next week.
Due to Covid-19, the store has added safety measures in place such as sanitizing hands when entering and limiting the number of occupants. Hassan says there have been no problems with people ignoring the rules.
“We understand that the weather is cold,” a Facebook post from the store read this week.
“We request customers to be patient before entering.”