Your Independent Grocer on Old Airport Road has a new owner.
After six years of operating the retail location, Trevor Bayer decided to sell the 70,000-square-foot store to Rochdi Mortada.
The transaction officially took place on Sunday, June 14, and Mortada said he’s excited to take control of the supermarket.
“It has been great but it is true that I came at the wrong time and during the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said. “But I have a great staff with 231 employees, which is a huge team. They have showed me everything and I have been provided with excellent training from the south.”
Mortada is a former manager of the Yellowknife Your Independent Grocer as well as a Loblaw location in Edmonton. He also has owned and operated Argana Donair and Pizza in the Alberta capital. He’s held various positions with Safeway and Tesco in England in the past, stated a spokesperson in a June 18 email from Loblaw Companies.
He said he had given the store a few years notice of his interest in purchasing a franchise location through the company’s franchisee program. Being a part of the program means one is provided with intense training of operations in areas like finance or human resources.
Mortada said he is coming with a young family and is optimistic about this new chapter in his life.
“It is huge for me,” he said. “I came with a wife and a four year old and (my wife) is pregnant. We love the place and though you hear stories about how cold Yellowknife is, it is beautiful in the summer.”