The sign of a strong family business

Yanthas celebrates 80 years of service to the local market


BARRY’S BAY – When Jack Fitzgerald hung his sign on the back of the building located at 60 Stafford Street in Barry’s Bay, the sign advertised his grocery store and meat market. In those days, it was a prime advertising spot. As cars drove around the corner, the sign could be seen clearly. That prime advertising location was only one of the things that fueled the success of his business. Another was Fitzgerald’s longstanding reputation for serving his customers and adapting to their needs.

Back in 1942 when Fitzgerald began his store, there was limited power in town and meat was kept cool with ice and other passive means of cold storage. To keep the meat from spoiling, it was important to sell it quickly and get it into the iceboxes of local families. Fabian Yantha, Jack Fitzgerald’s grandson said he has heard stories from local people about turkeys lined up on boards in the basement of the store. It was an annual tradition in many families to get their festive bird from Fitzgerald’s meat market.

Eventually, electricity became more widely available and space in the home once occupied by iceboxes gave way to refrigerators and new electric stoves in post WWII homes. With the rising popularity of home appliances Fitzgerald’s store eventually shifted their retail focus from groceries to furniture and by 1959 were selling the electric appliances their customers wanted.

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