The Alberni Valley has a brand new Co-op – stop by for the grand opening Wednesday, May 16.

Fuel up and save!

Co-op celebrates grand opening of third gas bar location

If you’re looking to take the edge off the high price of fuel, you’re in luck.

As the Alberni District Co-op prepares to celebrate 90 years in the Valley, the company also throws open the doors – and gas pumps – on a brand new, third location.

And as a co-op, profits stay right here in the community, says general manager Dave Heinrichs.

“Co-op is a membership-based company so we return profits back to the members,” he explains. That means that for a one-time membership fee of $10, members receive annual rebates based on the amount of purchases they’ve made through the year, and last year Alberni Co-op gave back 3.5 per cent on members purchases – one way to help offset those rising fuel prices!

With the new location, many drivers will now find the Co-op closer to home.

The grand opening of the new location at 3820 10th Ave. runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 16. The ribbon cutting is at 10:30 a.m. and the local Breakfast Club will flash up the grill for a barbecue by donation. Prizes and giveaways are also planned throughout, Heinrichs says.

Continuing a long history

The new location brings the Alberni Valley Co-op team to about 35, many who have been with the local company for years, Heinrichs says, encouraging drivers and residents to stop in and say hello.

“Our employees are really what makes us special. We have a lot of long-term staff members and our customers get used to seeing them and in their day-to-day business,” he says.

The new location in the heart of town joins the other longstanding stations at Johnson Road and and Beaver Creek Road.

First opening as a feed store on Johnston Road in 1928, the Alberni District Co-op evolved over the years and in the 1980s opened a gas bas and bulk station on Beaver Creek Road.

In 2000 they built another gas bar on Johnston Road, where a touchless car wash was added in 2002.

Today, their Beaver Creek Road bulk station has three fuel trucks delivering in Port Alberni, Ucluelet, Tofino and now Nanaimo. The Furnace Department was added in 2006, offering tank and furnace installations and annual furnace protection plans.

That growth has also fuelled Co-op’s ability to give back to the community,

“We’re a long-term business in the Valley and in addition to being locally owned through our membership, we’re also big community supporters,” Heinrichs notes.

Among the many local initiatives Alberni District Co-op supports are Funtastic Alberni, Thunder in the Valley, the Regatta and Port Alberni Toy Run. They also join their fellow Co-ops across Western Canada in Fuel Good Day, which last year raised $570,000 for charity.

And that’s a good fit for the company philosophy: “You’re at home here.”

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