The Deleau General Store is celebrating their first anniversary this weekend. However, this is the community’s 4th General Store constructed on that very spot on Hwy 2 west of Souris, since the original was built back in 1892 ... 130 years ago!
The 1500 sq ft store greets travelers with fuel, propane, hardware and plumbing supplies, basic groceries, camping supplies – and of course, the coffee is always on!
Owner, Scott Phillips, says the store is modelled as a one-stop-shop covering everything from soup to nuts! "It's been a real quick year! We had some lows in the winter and Covid, of course, threw us a curve ball that we couldn't hit but we've rebounded pretty good and its been a successful year!"
The in-house coffee shop has been a success as well, with lunch time specials bringing visitors back to the days of home-cooked meals, and don’t forget the homemade soups! Phillips says they are always looking at ways to expand, most recently bringing in the U-Haul trailers.
"We have a lot of locals every day but it just seems everyday we have someone say, 'I read your blogs' or 'I haven't been here and I heard about it and we thought we'd stop in'. And, we're getting more and more truckers pulling in with the easy access off the highway. It's just a user-friendly place to come!" he adds.
The village of Deleau was named after Belgium-born Sebastian Deleau who donated land to accommodate the building of the train station in 1892. Numerous buildings went up that year, including residences, businesses and the first general store. According to the Manitoba Heritage Society, this is the 4th General Store built at this historic location. Phillips has been able to provide the daily necessities that were once offered to his community over the past 130 years ... and more!
"We do a lot of take and bake food, a lot of grab and go," he explains. "We sell a lot of propane, a lot of fuel, a lot of livestock feed. We cater to the skidoo-ers, the motorcycles with the premium tanks now. We're here early in the morning to get the guys going to work and travelling back and forth. We're just trying to accommodate to the market."
Needless to say, the Deleau General Store has been accommodating local and travelling patrons over the past 130 years and Phillips continues to celebrate everything community with a number of events taking place on a regular basis. This week Thursday evening he'll be hosting the Farmers Market starting at 6 pm. And, the coast to coast cruisers are coming to Souris this Saturday and Sunday before heading west with some cruisers stopping at the General Store to showcase their vintage wheels mid-morning on Monday the 15th, where more cake and coffee will be served.
Phillips invites everyone to join them for Anniversary cake and coffee this Saturday, August 13th from 11 am to 1 pm at their one stop country shop on Highway 2 west!
"We invite all of our regular customers, and if you haven't been a customer here before we invite you to come down and check it out. We'll have cake and coffee and we've got some door prizes from some of our suppliers. We're just looking at saying 'Thank you' for all the business and looking forward to going at it again!"