Third Grandma expands pantry in Killaloe

It was an emotional thank you from Melissa Tremback at the official ribbon-cutting for Grandma’s Pantry in Killaloe on Nov.28, as the store’s owner acknowledged the assistance of many community members. She said, “There’s no words to explain the help and the excitement – You guys have kept us so pumped! It’s been a long haul for sure. We’re so excited to have all of you here to do this, so thank you from the bottom of our hearts.” Fighting back tears she talked about her husband, Brook, and his assistant, Sage Beckett, saying, “You’ve given me everything that I’ve wanted and you’ve given up every weekend for I don’t even know how long! So thank you so so much for everything.” Above: Brook and Melissa Tremback

Brook and Melissa Tremback cut the ribbon held by Grandma’s Pantry staff members Tamara Gibson and Sage Beckett (left) and Jasmine Rouleau (at right)

Panpipes played and a group of residents, shoppers, co-workers, family and friends cheered as Melissa cut the ribbon and invited them to step into the newly renovated space on Queen Street, across from her former shop premises. She told The Current, “Grandma’s Pantry has been in business for 27 years; I’m the third Grandma.” She explained the expanded space allowed them to use the upstairs for a gluten-free processing facility to house The Mix Company which she and her husband bought from Cate Ott in January. At the same time, they acquired Engine House Coffee from Daniel Scorzriello and Genevieve Townsend, and Melissa said the former Grandma’s Pantry premises would be transformed into a coffee shop where community members could gather.

Melissa and Brook Tremback are dreamers, and they dream big. This visionary young couple have made their dreams come true. Brook explained their dream: “Basically we want to make sure there’s more jobs for people in the community moving forward so we can keep expanding on the business here. [I hope] that more people from the surrounding area will come to this store to shop, then in turn we can also have more people working.” He said Grandma’s Pantry currently employs five part-time staff. Because his fulltime job is a general manager at Zuracon Construction in Barry’s Bay, he worked on converting the Summers premises every evening and weekend since the end of September 2019. He trained Sage Beckett to work alongside him as a carpenter, utilized local trades (Welk Electric, Round Lake Heating) and had help from some community members during the process. They even had “a whole bunch of kids in the community that really wanted to come and help us. So to get them involved, we bought them some pizza and they were more than happy to come and help” move everything from the old store the night before between 4 p.m. and “We had everything over in three and a half hours.”

Above: interior of the new Grandma’s Pantry; below: new and old on Queen Street – the former premises will become a coffee shop

Among the customers at the opening were Killaloe-Hagarty-Richards Mayor Janice Tiedje and Community Development Coordinator Chris Neff. (photo below) Tiedje said this was a big deal for the municipality, “When we heard that Summers (Yamaha) was leaving, we were devastated…. So the Council and Township are very proud of them [the Trembacks], first of all, that they are willing to invest in our village and we’re really looking forward to being good partners with them.” She said the coffee shop was much needed by the community and that she truly believes in “buying local, supporting these small businesses.”  

mayor-janice-tiedje-chris-neff-kombucha-on-tap

KHR Mayor Janice Tiedje and Community Development Officer Chris Neff sample the kombucha on tap at Grandma’s Pantry

Neff said, “Melissa and Brook are amazing to work with; they are such hard workers. They have such vision for things and as a community development person it’s nice to share those kinds of things with other people…. It’s clearly evident here by the amount of people that came out, supported this, stayed until the early morning hours to help. It’s been a total community effort and I feel like [it] is going to be a really great cultural centre here downtown and further inspire other businesses in the area to just go for it and do things and follow their dreams like Melissa and Brook have done.”

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