BARRY’S BAY – Serving as altar boys at Our Lady of the Angels parish in Brudenell, Gerard O’Malley and Neil O’Reilly never thought they would own a grocery store together.
But 25 years later, the duo, along with Neil’s wife Connie, prove that business partnerships can be successful if you share the same philosophy.
Neil and Gerard grew up in Brudenell. Later, Gerard moved to Barry’s Bay and worked at Kitts Red and White grocery store before moving to Super Save, which later became Valu Mart. Neil got a full time job managing Foodmaster, located where Napa Auto Parts is today. Both grocery stores were owned by Madva Coorporation, which was a local consortium of investors at the time.
A hockey accident in 1984 left O’Malley permanently injured, but he returned to work at Super Save part time, until he was appointed grocery manager.
Connie O’Reilly also had deep roots in the grocery industry, working at the Kitts Red and White grocery store.
Gerard, Neil and Connie began thinking long and hard about their future. They questioned whether or not they wanted to remain in their current positions for the long haul. They decided that they would pursue a joint business venture, and would open a new grocery store in Barry’s Bay.
“We felt that we wanted to run our own ship,” Gerard said.
“The vision was to see if we could provide another alternative in the area,” Neil said. “Certainly everyone has the choice of where to spend their grocery dollars. We definitely heard that there was lots of traveling being done and tourists bringing their own groceries to town.”
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