After thirty-three years in the convenience store business, Min Kim and his family are stepping away from the counter. For the past twenty-two years, customers at Millbrook’s Mr. Convenience have been greeted by members of Kim’s family, or their long-time staff member Alex, as they dropped in to pick up a movie, a newspaper, a lottery ticket, cigarettes, or a treat.
In the early morning hours, it was Min behind the counter, while other family members including his wife, or her sister took his spot mid-day with Alex or a student taking the early evening shift, with Min returning to close up. At some point, all three children also helped out in the family business.
It is also a family affair for the store’s new owners. The primary store operator will be Trent McLeod, who will be assisted by his wife So Jin, and her parents Kyungbae and Sookja Kim. This is not their first family business. The foursome operated a garden centre in Vaughn as a family before relocating to Millbrook. Trent moved there from Calgary after working as a manager in the oil and gas industry there for 25 years.
Kyungbae and Sookja immigrated to Canada in 2009 from South Korea after both of their daughters who originally came to study, decided to remain permanently.
Last week the family moved to a home on Frederick Street, and they are struck by the change in atmosphere from their former urban location, but in a good way. With a walkable commute to work and public school where their young daughter Lily will attend one day, they look forward to their daughter Lily growing up in a small town.
The family is eager to get established in their new environment and appreciate their customers’ patience as they become more familiar with their responsibilities. They do not come with preconceived ideas about the business and have no plans to make significant changes to the operation until they gain more experience and find a way to put their own stamp on the business. In the meantime, Min has agreed to remain available to help them learn the ropes. They had better do so before golf season arrives. KG