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It appears that the downtown pharmacy, Uniprix, will renovate the old IGA building in order to expand and meet the needs of the growing population of the region.
Uniprix, the only pharmacy and also a popular variety store in downtown Lac Brome, seems to be now a bit too cramped for the daily traffic they recieve.
If the Uniprix are going to renovate and enlarge their square-footage then it will be a big plus for shoppers! We've walked towards the cold remedies aisle many times and had to do a side-step-soft-shoe to avoid bumping another customer due to the restricted area to move.
Uniprix is one of the largest independant pharmacies, employing over 4000 people in Quebec, and have operated for close to 30 years. They are avid supporters of local athletes and health programs and contribute funds regularly to local charities.
The fact that an established business such as Uniprix sees the potential to grow, and is willing to take the risk in expansion, in a village like Knowlton, says much for the courage of the business and also underlines the potential that our area offers.
The old IGA, with some ceiling and floor work, would be much larger than the existing pharmacy and the location is indeed prime real estate now that the new IGA is up and running and proving to be a big hit with locals and visitors.
That whole area on Highway 104, also known as Knowlton Road, is looking like it holds the potential for Knowlton's future! There is some great commercial space available in the area and the parking is already there so it doesn't take any imagination to picture a Tim Horton's in Knowlton, Lac Brome!
The closest Tim Horton's is in Cowansville and there is always a line-up practically out the door! A Timmy's in Knowlton would be great...certainly better than the coffee that is available at Chez Guy's or the Depanneur Rouge and there is a need for an inexpensive yet somewhat healthy place to eat in Knowlton.
The Tim Horton chain seems to offer a decent and consistant meal selection which would have an easy time against the "hit-and-miss" nature of many of the Knowlton restaurants. The fact that a drive through coffee counter is needed in the village goes without saying.
The cost of commercial land in Knowlton is at a premium because there is not much of quality space that could be useful for large chains or franchises. There are some commercial lots for sale near the new IGA and future Uniprix that are potential goldmines for the right tenant but Knowlton is a special place and hopefully the landowners who are willing to sell will have established ideals as to what is deemed acceptable on their properties since many local land and property owners are merely part-time residents and have no real stake in the Brome Lake community beyond a financial interest.
Companies like the IGA and Uniprix do not invest without first having calculating the risk. By accepting the risk and investing in Knowlton they establish a foundation from which other businesses can grow upon and if the City Hall of Knowlton can perhaps shake itself out of the small town mentality and attempt to construct a municipal vision for Knowlton then there can be innovation and expansion that will benefit everyone.
The new Knowlton Uniprix is scheduled to open in the spring of 2007.