Helmcken Market closes its doors after 48 years

Helmcken Market closes its doors after 48 years

It has been a staple in the community but after 48 years, Helmcken Market in View Royal is shutting its doors.

The store opened in 1973 as a small shop, owned by wife and husband Shanon and Garvin Tse, who were in their 20s then.

They expanded the store throughout the years, operated every day, including holidays.

“It’s a mixed feeling. We really, really say sorry not serving the community anymore, but we do need to retire because we are both aging,” said Shanon.

Garvin said the time has flown by — the couple is now in their 70s and ready for retirement.

While people came in to buy their groceries, many returned for Shanon and Garvin’s hospitality and customer service, which they say go unmatched.

Many feel heartbroken about the closure and said they will miss interacting with the couple.

“They’re just so friendly and welcoming and warming. It’s been fantastic. Sad to see them go, but they definitely deserve to retire,” said long-time customer Carey Gustafson.

“My kids are heartbroken that this place is closing. They think Shanon is the nicest person they’ve ever met in their entire life. So, they’re very sad as well as me,” said Lori Poppe, another loyal customer.

“Yeah, I’m going to miss them.”

View Royal’s mayor David Screech described it as a community market and big part of his personal life.

“They’re always kind nice people,” he said, adding. “It’s a shame to lose a community market like that. I wish them well. They worked so hard.”

As sad as it is to go, Shanon and Garvin are ready to hang up their aprons and reconnect with their passions.
“We definitely receive lots of nice compliments from people, especially people who’ve been supporting us for a long time. And of course, everyone hates to see us going, but they’re also happy to see us retired and enjoy life,” said Shanon.
They’re looking forward to spending time with family and friends and travelling when it’s safe to do so.
The store officially closes on Oct. 15.
The building is already sold to a new owner who will take it over in late October.
Tahmina AzizTahmina Aziz

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