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CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - William Hashem, 33, and his mother, Linda, say it’s simply time to move on.
But the owners of Mt. Edward Grocery in Charlottetown add that it won’t make it any easier to walk out the door for the final time.
The Hashems are in the process of selling a business that Linda and her husband, Amal, opened in 1984. While nothing has been finalized with new owners, William is very optimistic that a deal is near, one that will keep the grocery store open.
William and Linda continued to run the store following Amal’s death 10 years ago.
“There’s not too many small mom and pop places anymore, but hopefully the new owners that we have lined up are going to continue the business, so it should just kind of transition into passing the torch,’’ William said. “Mom’s about 62 getting ready to retire and slow down. (Running the business) seven days a week isn’t easy.’’
Linda says it’s time to concentrate on her family.
“I’m looking forward to watching my grandchildren,’’ she says. “I’ve got five little grandkids that I’m looking forward to spending time with. It’s time to go.’’
William adds that having a young family himself makes running the store alone even more difficult.
“One of the reasons why we’re getting out of the business is I have two little girls now. I hear it every day how hard it was with my mom raising (three children) and doing the store. I kind of want to do it differently with my family. That’s one of the reasons why we’re moving on.
“It’s a bit too much for me with a young family. God bless my mom for doing that but I don’t think I could do that . . . and there’s other things that I’m interested in.’’
He knows leaving the business will feel odd. It’s all he’s ever known. He’s been working in the store since he can remember.
“My brother and I grew up here bagging carrots (and) turnips and back then there were (pop) bottles. I can remember organizing bottles and stuff like that. It was like a job. It wasn’t a typical childhood but I was always around my parents and never really got into too much trouble, which was good for them. It was hard work.’’
For William, it’s a lifetime of hard work but fond memories.
“It’s been great. The community, the customers that we serve (and) all of our suppliers have been amazing. It’s going to be a difficult thing to (walk away from) but it’s time to make a transition.
“For us, it’s been selling local produce here and that has been important because it represents our Island and what we can produce, the quality that we can produce and passing that on to the public at a good price.’’