Crowds throng to new Tru Value grocery store

December 25, 2015

I think the first time I ever walked into a Tru Value grocery store was when I was gathering news on Pender Island once a week for the Gulf Islands Driftwood based on Salt Spring Island, BC

Since then I have often visited the Tru Value store in Cordova Bay, a part of Saanich and of greater Victoria, BC. As soon as you walk into it, you get the feel of a small community store. The prices are high but each week there are sales, a list of which ends up in your mail box and stays out on the counter (unlike Walmart and Shoppers Drug Mart flyers). Lots of bulk nuts and dried fruit; deli and special extra-yummy treats.

At the till, you can pick from a long line of organizations that do good community work and the store will donate a small percentage to the worthy cause of your choice. Mine is The Mustard Seed food bank.

People often get cashback and change for the bus as chances are your bank is not part of the community. The people who work at Tru Value recognize you because they know and probably live in the community.

Having lived on Salt Spring for 16 years, I know that a supermarket expansion, no matter how small, coming to one of the Gulf Islands, is a big deal. It means you no longer have to crave  your favourite ice cream or even long for cream in your coffee for a week if you unexpectedly run out before you can get away to Victoria or Vancouver on the ferry to do business or visit family.

This– and the fact that news can sometimes be hard to come by on a small island– is the reason why I knew an article of the arrival of Tru Value to the Penders was newsworthy:

Gulf Islands Driftwood — Pender Islands Edition

Wednesday, August 16, 2000

Crowds throng to new Tru Value grocery store

by Tanya Lester

The with which Tru Value manager Mike Gray was challenged over the weekend was not wet and wavy.

“There was a sea of people in here,” said Gray about the response to an invitation to seniors to see the new 6000-square-foot grocery store which opened Friday at the Driftwood Centre.

Gray himself was enthusiastic about the new building.

“It’s amazing,” he said. “It’s beautiful. It’s one of the best stores I’ve ever seen.”

Driftwood Centre owner Davy Rae was given top marks by Gray.

The new store is four times larger than the space Tru Value occupied in another part of the Driftwood Centre.

Architectural details, such as the lattice work in the produce section, give each department a special ambiance, said Gray.

Tru Value can now offer a wider selection of dairy products and an extensive meat department with a “real live butcher.”

brain Duffy has relocated from the Brentwood Bay store in Victoria to cut meat for Pender Islanders. He and his wife Gina and two-year-old Stephen moved to the Penders a month ago.

Duffy noted how appreciative, patient and friendly everyone has been.

“They’re happy and they’re pretty excited about (the store),” he said, pointing out this kind of congenial attitude would not be found in an urban location.

Gray said paving around the store is almost completed with only a space by the rear door needing to be finished.

He said a patio with tables and chairs is yet to be put in for customers who want to buy something to eat from the delicatessen.

Gray said a grand opening for the store is being planned.


Tanya Lester is also a psychic/intuitive reader and a house sitter. For more information go to her web at , email her at, call her at 250-538-0086 or look for her on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google or Twitter.


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