Cole’s Food Centre

A look back at Sylvan Lake grocery stores

Explore the town's past through this recollection, part of a year-long historical series presented by the Sylvan Lake Archives Society.

The following article and accompanying picture were submitted by the Sylvan Lake & District Archives Society as part of a series celebrating the society’s 20 years of existence this year. The Archives Society is open to the public every Tuesday and Thursday from noon to 4 p.m. at its new location in the lower level of the town’s Municipal Government Building.

Cole’s Food Centre

Jack Cole and brother LaVerne bought Tendersweet Meats in 1946 from Bert Woodrow of Red Deer and operated the business until 1948, when Jack took over as sole owner. In 1959, on the site of the former Pete’s Café, a new store was built under the name Cole’s Foods Ltd. This business was sold to Western Grocers in 1964 and Jack went with IGA as a meat merchandiser. The Western Grocers Group opened the store again under the name Red and White Store. The photo on this page shows Cole’s Food Centre, and to the left, what used to be the Magnet Store, owned by Joe Martin in the 1930s and 40s and sold to Jenkins Groceteria in 1948.

May & Turner Meat and Grocery Store

In 1946, Charlie Turner came to Sylvan Lake to join his brother-in-law, Jack May, in the meat cutting business. In 1949, Jack and Charlie bought the Rosse Store on Main Street and opened the May & Turner Meat and Grocery Store, which they operated until 1961 when the business was sold to Cobb’s Ltd. Charlie moved with the business and worked as the butcher at Cobb’s for many years. The old May & Turner building went through several identities, such as a second-hand store, Monte Keith’s Sylvan Lake News office and Betty Fisher’s beauty salon and wool shop before being demolished in 1978 to make way for the Red Rooster Store.

Shamrock Grocery Store & Shower Station

The Shamrock Grocery was a little gem in the cottage area. In the 1950s, Mary Newcombe owned the grocery store and tea room, which was located where the Sylvan Auto Spa is today. The store had one phone, which was kept busy by patrons and cottage owners. The store also offered showers — 35 cents a shower, including a towel! The tea room served freshly-made pies and muffins which were served on the porch set with tables and chairs. A memorable event in the tea room’s history was a wedding reception held there during World War II. The store was sold in 1955 to Rose Young, who operated it for many years and then sold in 1980. The building was torn down soon after. Those of you who knew Mrs. Young might remember that she owned a cottage by the name of Navlys — Sylvan spelled backwards!


Just Posted

Hard fought win for HJ Cody senior boys Lakers

Lakers took on Camrose Jan. 10 at home and waked away with a 76-65 win

Hope restored: Sylvan Lake resident receives kidney donation from younger sister

Sylvan Lake’s Lexie Libby undergo an operation for a new kidney, donated by her sister Emma.

Anglers reminded to register ice huts on Sylvan Lake

Lacombe County is reminding anglers to register their huts with the “Take it Off” program

WATCH: Pro-pipeline convoy travels through Sylvan Lake

Over 600 vehicles drove the route from Red Deer and back on Jan. 12

Sylvan Lake library hosting fifth annual XOX Valentines Party

The ladies only event will be held at the Sylvan Lake Municipal Library on Feb. 1

UK lawmakers reject Brexit deal in 432-202 vote

House of Commons votes against the deal struck between Britain’s government and the EU

WATCH: World-renowned illusionist, magician, escapist performs in Stettler

Matt Johnson performs two sold-out shows at Stettler Performing Arts Centre

Olivia and Liam top list for Alberta baby names in 2018

Premier Rachel Notley announced the top baby names in Alberta in 2018; Loki didn’t make the cut

Edmonton Police charged 236 people with auto theft in 2018

Police states many of the thefts are crimes of opportunity

Official torchbearers for 2019 Canada Winter Games announced

Canada Games officials open time capsule from Grande Prairie Games in 1995

Sylvan Lake Municipal Library encourages residents to Read for 15

Read for 15 is an annual event held in connection to Family Literacy Day.

Alberta Health Services, United Nurses of Alberta reach agreement to settle union grievance of nursing staffing shortage

Settlement includes the designation of 11.7 full-time-equivalent Registered Nurse relief positions

Woman’s complaint leads to sexual assault charge against Calgary priest

Malcolm Joe D’Souza, who is 62, has been charged with one count of sexual assault

Most Read