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Maple Ridge General Store

Welcoming visitors with a classic general store vibe.
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Maple Ridge General Store

This classic landmark on Highway 17 features old fashioned friendly service in a modern country store

Locals and visitors alike love this all-in-one shop known for offering “the best meat on the North Shore.”

Chantal and Craig Lauzon were looking for a different lifestyle away from the city. After living and working in the Windsor area most of their lives, they decided to move to Northern Ontario with their three children in tow.

maple ridge store owners

“It was a trip that I previously took with our business partner Dennis Arrand, to Manitoba, where we discovered new parts of Ontario and were very taken by the scenic North Shore of Lake Huron in Algoma and the people who made us feel welcome. We knew we wanted to return to the area,” said Chantal.

Soon, an opportunity came up that made the move happen. Maple General Ridge Store, first established in the 1950s, on Highway 17 between Thessalon and Iron Bridge was for sale. “At first, we were interested only in the house attached to the store,” said Craig. The couple then realized that taking over the store would be a perfect opportunity for the family and so, despite having no experience in the retail sector, the Lauzons, and their three children, along with Dennis, packed up their belongings and moved to Huron Shores.

maple ridge store beef and poultry

The sale closed on May 1st, 2021 and right away they got to work. Paul West, the butcher from Maple Ridge General Store stayed on to apprentice and train Craig in the art of butchering. “His assistance has been invaluable to us and for the business. We wanted to return the store to its roots, not only offering excellent meat and custom butchering services but increase the inventory on the shelves and return it to a genuine general store, where you can buy a wide variety of groceries people need every day, as well as items like animal feed [dog, cat, chicken, cow, pig, and lamb]."

The store also features a deli counter, coffee bar, and an ATM machine. Catering to the cottagers in the area, Maple Ridge has ice, a propane exchange, water bottle exchange, fishing tackle and worms and even anti-freeze for those ready to close up their camps for the winter. “When someone asks for something, and we don’t have it, we make an effort to look to see if we can get it in”, says Chantal.

maple ridge store cheese

It should be noted, because they get inquires almost daily, Maple Ridge General Store no longer processes wild game for hunters, but they will refer to others who do. Locally (Algoma) made and produced food items like eggs, maple syrup, salad dressings and BBQ sauce from Maple Acres Farm, gourmet popcorn from Cornucopia, honey, and vegetables from the Mennonite farms in Desbarats and Rustik Hillside Acres in Wharncliffe. “We like to carry local art by artisans in the area too,” said Chantal.

One of the popular services that continued with Maple Ridge General Store and has been expanded, is offering free weekly delivery services with no minimum orders. Delivery from Elliot Lake and Blind River to Sault Ste. Marie and St. Joseph Island and all points in-between on the North Shore. The store serves private customers, as well as supplies several restaurants in the area.

maple ridge store local products

While only open for a few months, the owners have lots of plans for its future. Besides upgrading the electrical, replacing the roof, and general refurbishing of the store, they will be offering U-Haul Rentals. Soon to come will be sandwiches to-go from the deli counter and further down the road, a small café/dining room with soups and sandwiches for the travelling public and truckers who want to stop in for a bite.

“We’re all about community and meeting needs. As we learn and grow, we want to do what the people are asking for and want. So far, the reception from the community has been amazing and we’re grateful for that,” Chantal added.

Mankia’s Maple Ridge General Store

14614 Highway 17, Thessalon, ON P0R 1L0
Facebook www.facebook.com/mapleridgestorethessalon
Instagram: @mapleridgestore
PH: (705) 842-2739
Owners: Chantal Lauzon, Craig Lauzon, Dennis Arrand
Open Monday – Saturday 7 am – 11 pm
Closed Sundays

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