As a winter snowstorm rages and the snow continues to pile up outside, Elias Habib welcomes customers at his store in south-end Halifax.
“It’s just a regular work day,” said Habib, owner of Jubilee Junction, a dairy bar and convenience store on Jubilee Road.
Halifax suffered another snowstorm on Sunday, adding 15 to 30 centimetres to the remaining ice and snow from previous storms this winter. Because of the dangerous driving conditions, many businesses shut down for the day, including the Halifax Shopping Centre and the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market. But many small business owners like Habib chose to stay open.
“If you live close enough and can open, open,” he said.
Habib says that how busy his store gets during storms depends on how quickly the roads and sidewalks are cleared, and until people are able to drive safely, the store only receives foot traffic.
“You’re going to get busy from people that live right next door to you because they don’t really want to go too far, but for anybody to hop in their vehicle … if it’s not safe for them to be on the road, it’s better just to stay home,” said Habib.
Habib drives himself to work every day from his downtown Dartmouth home in a 4×4 vehicle in order to get to work on time regardless of the weather.
Also located and open on Jubilee Road is Triple A, a family-owned convenience store, pizzeria and mini-bakery frequented by students living in the nearby area who use walking as their main mode of transportation.
“We know what students go through,” said Rita Amyoony, owner of Triple A Convenience. “Most students don’t have a car, they all walk. So for them we remain open.”
Both stores were open during their regular hours through Sunday’s storm (Jubilee Junction: 8:30am-12:00am, Triple A: 9:00am-12:00am) so that people within walking distance could purchase supplies and snack foods, a bestseller during snowstorms. “Chips and pop,” said Habib. “We sell more snacks.”
Jubilee Junction and Triple A are open every day and plan on staying open even if Halifax is hit with another major storm before the winter is over.
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Amyoony recognizes that there are many students living in the neighbourhood by her store, and being the mother of four students herself, she says that she likes knowing that they are being taken care of.
As long as the students are happy and satisfied,” said Amyoony. “It’s called a convenience store, right?”