While many NWT business owners are working out how to operate in a new normal, Behchoko’s Dominic Doctor has found a niche in public health orders for a new one.
Doctor opened Walk Up Convenience Store last Saturday, a day after he received his business license from the Behchoko Community Government.
“(The name) is fitting. You walk up to my window. Because that’s what it is,” said Doctor.
The name is also appropriate during the pandemic, because customers are physically distanced and don’t go inside the shop. They walk up to the window, identify what they want, and Doctor hands their purchases to them.
He can even literally wake up to walk to work, as the shop is located in the back of the trailer he lives in, It’s separated by a barrier from the front of the trailer where his living space is.
Doctor started the store with some of the funds he earned from a lucrative winter season with his Dehk’e Enterprise freight hot shot service, which involves picking up goods and hauling them down the winter roads to communities in the Tlicho region.
“That would’ve been it for the income for the year because hauling is few and far between in the summer,” he said. “The community needed another option after another (convenience) store here has been having a hard time starting up.”
Even though his shop is close to home, setting it up wasn’t necessarily smooth and didn’t happen overnight.
Doctor applied for his business licence more than two weeks ago and there was a lot of “back and forth” and red tape between himself and the community government.
He hopes to hire someone to help out next week.
Since he opened the community has responded well and dozens of customers have come in to buy cold sodas, dairy products, snacks, confectionery items and toilet paper.
“Everyone likes to see a good thing happening.”