IMG 1060 560”Wine & beer are here” said the new sign on the outside of Rowland’s Independent Grocer in Port Elgin. The items have been added to Rowland’s merchandise beginning October 28.

October 29 Editor's Note: We received confirmation this morning from Scott Rowland regarding store hours and they are as follows:

Winter store hours are: Monday to Friday 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. with beer and wine sales from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday store hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. with beer and wine sales from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. On Sunday store hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. with beer and wine sales from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Hub Staff

Beginning at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, October 28, Rowland’s Independent Grocer in Port Elgin is offering beer and wine for sale.

Loblaw’s applied for the license on behalf of Rowland’s, said Scott Rowland, owner of Rowland’s Independent Grocer. “They do an eligibility inspection, so the Alcohol and Gaming Commission comes around. They ask you a bunch of questions, where are you going to put it, they want to see a diagram of where it’s going to be located and then you have to have all your cashiers that are over 18 Smart Serve certified,” said Rowland, adding that Smart Serve is a four hour online course that teaches you how to identify someone who is impaired, how to properly ask for proof of age and how to deal with a customer who you think is impaired and are refusing to serve.

The store purchase hours are from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday to Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, even though the store is open for groceries until 7 p.m. on Sunday. “So our cash registers are programmed for those hours so if you pick up a beer and try and scan it at 7, it won’t scan,” said Rowland October 28 after having pulled an all-nighter getting the display ready for their 9 o’clock media tour.

“We’re excited, a one stop shop,” said Rowland, adding that it will take them some time to figure out what sells and what doesn’t sell and how much stock he will need to bring in. “There’s going to be a lot of firsts,” he said.

Rowland continued. “So far, so good... It will do well, I’m excited about the summer and holidays, probably great opportunities for us, especially holidays when everyone else is closed and we’re open.” Rowland said that the current location in the store is only temporary, come spring he plans to relocate the displays further into the store and add some refrigerated coolers.

For now, Rowland said, they stock a large selection of wine and beer, “50 percent regular beers and then 50 percent craft beers.”

CindyTanner 560Cindi Tanner sporting her Smart Serve certified badge at Rowland’s Independent Grocer October 28.

IMG 1057 560A selection of beer, including 50 percent craft beer is now available at Rowland’s Independent Grocer in Port Elgin

IMG 1055 560Rowland’s Independent has now added beer and wine to their merchandise. The current in-store location is only temporary, with plans of moving it further into the store come spring and adding refrigerated coolers.

IMG 1059 560Alcohol sales can take place from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday to Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.