Overwaitea Foods staff waving (Photo credit Lorne Eckersley)

Overwaitea Foods staff waving (Photo credit Lorne Eckersley)

Overwaitea yesterday, Save-On-Foods today

The venerable regional grocery brand known as Overwaitea is coming to an end.

The venerable regional grocery brand known as Overwaitea is coming to an end. On Friday morning a new Save-On-Foods sign appeared on the grocery store front in Creston, signaling a change in branding, but not ownership or staffing.

Creston joined Kimberley on Friday to become the first two of the remaining Overwaitea Food Stores to rebrand as Save-On-Foods. Other Overwaitea Foods stores are in Sparwood, Nakusp, Grand Forks, Golden, Fort St. James, Fort Nelson, Burns Lake and Fernie.

Both Save-On-Foods and Overwaitea Foods belong to the same company, which was named the Overwaitea Food Group for its original stores. The company was founded in 1915 in New Westminster, B.C., and over a century has grown to more than 160 locations from B.C. to Manitoba and north to the Yukon—most of which are Save-On-Foods.

“We’ve been waiting for this change for more than a year,” Creston store manager Ron World said last week. He said renovations to the store will follow at a yet to be determined date.

Creston Overwaitea has been a fixture in the local grocery business since 1937 when it opened its doors on Canyon Street, where the Royal Bank now sits. It became the anchor of newly constructed Creston Valley Mall in 1982, moving from the 10th Avenue North location (built in 1959) in what is now the Creston Fire Hall.

The Overwaitea Foods roots go back to 1915 when a New Westminster grocery store owner introduced innovations like odd-penny pricing and selling 18 ounces of tea for the price of one pound. His store became known to shoppers as the “over-weight tea store.” He named his second business Overwaitea as a result.

The conversions of the remaining Overwaitea stores will mean that people driving across Canada will find the Save-On-Foods shopping experience nation-wide.

As the company continues growing and expanding into new markets, realigning its stores as Save-On-Foods—its most prominent banner—allows the company to deliver the products, promotions, and programs that customers in these communities have been asking for.

“We are proud of our 100-plus-year history which began with Overwaitea stores, and we are excited to continue our tradition of Going the Extra Mile for our customers as Save-On-Foods,” said company president Darrell Jones. “Adding two more stores to our Save-On-Foods family means our fantastic team members in Kimberley and Creston can give our customers more of what they want: the products and programs that make Save-On-Foods such a well-known and loved brand in B.C.”

“We thrive on change,” World said. “We are confident that are customers will enjoy the changes that they will find under the Save-On-Foods brand.”