Co-op liquor store opens doors, second one coming

Lake Country Co-op cuts the ribbon at the grand opening of their new Cornerstone liquor store. (Jayda Noyes/Daily Herald)

Jayda Noyes, Daily Herald

Customers flooded into Prince Albert’s newest—and largest—liquor store on Friday morning for its grand opening.

Co-op Wine, Spirits, Beer Cornerstone is located beside Michaels.

According to Lake Country Co-op CEO Dean McKim, the space is over 15,000 square feet with almost 6,000 commodity options for customers, not to mention the largest walk-in beer cooler in all of Saskatchewan.

McKim emphasized he wanted the city to have more options.

“There’s products from all over the world and we’ll continue to evolve that, not only with beer, wine, but also spirits,” he said, explaining how different sections of the store are dedicated to provincially-made liquor.

“This has been a long journey and we spent two and a half, close to three years in preparing for today, so we couldn’t be happier to open the doors,” he said.

A second Co-op liquor store is in the works along Marquis Road, which will be attached to their convenience store on 5th Avenue East.

It’s set to open in the spring.

Although it will be significantly smaller at about 3500 square feet, McKim said it’s still an option for those on the east hill.

Lake Country Co-op acquired the liquor licenses from other establishments.

“We would have loved to be in the market two, three years ago,” said McKim, but they had to negotiate with other businesses after the city decided they didn’t want two additional Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA) licenses.

In October, a new rule came into place allowing businesses to sell their permits to others.

Council has passed several motions in attempt to restrict the sale of alcohol in response to high rates of addiction, including limiting hours and locations to sell it and banning any more drive-thru stores.

“I understand that,” said McKim in response. “That’s why we feel we’re the best partner. We’re a very highly ethical company. We believe in social responsibility in marketing and we are not going to be a discount market.”

He said this location will hold about 50 employees and, when the other one opens, it will have between 20 and 30.