Located at the corner of Stewart and Cumberland is a convenience store, now called Remac Convenience, where three families consecutively served the needs of the Sandy Hill community for the last 120 years. The photo from 1930 was published on the Lost Ottawa website by Chris Sorrenti, whose grandparents owned the business, then called Smiley’s Confectionery, during the Depression.
From the mid 50s to about 2000, the proprietors were Sue Smiley and her brother Eddy, who also had a store in New Edinburgh. It was a hang-out in the early 60s for pupils at St Joseph’s school on Wilbrod Street, who among other things enjoyed the red lace and ribbon licorice and bread that cost 10 cents a loaf. When Sue and Eddy took it over, the side window on Stewart was long gone.
Abbi Theva’s parents bought the store from the Smiley family around the year 2000 and her family has owned and operated Remac Convenience for the past 20 years, continuing the store’s tradition of serving the needs of the diverse neighbourhood to this day, and going strong.
Abbi Teva tells a tale of six people seeking solutions and her shop that provides them
Kofi works part time as a consulting technician, while finishing an engineering degree at the University of Ottawa. He is waiting to get immigrant status for his wife and son who live in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. How can Kofi get money to them? The solution: Remac, with Western Union and Ria Money Transfer. Kofi can also send packages of school supplies for his son via Remac’s parcel service.
Jeanne is studying for a Masters in psychology at the University of Ottawa. Often she and her schoolmates drop by in the evening to work together on assignments. They get hungry. The solution: Remac. The shop offers cheeses, breads, biscuits, party snacks and other party foods.
Julietta, a theatre arts student from Modena, Italy, often likes pasta with a good sauce and cheese. The solution: Remac’s pasta, pasta sauce and cheese selection. Remac also offers dog food and cat food for her dog and cat.
Jim sports his white foreman helmet. The day is hot and the work, excavating water pipes, is exhausting. The solution: Remac. The shop offers energy drinks, iced tea drinks, samosas and Jamaican patties.
Meanwhile, Tim, his son, loves breakfast cereals, muffins, chocolate milk, ice cream, peanut butter and such to start the day with. The solution: Remac. For the adults, packaged tea and coffee and even Argentinian maté tea.
Sharmila, an office worker, loves curried rice with condiments. The solution: Remac’s selection of Indian curries and condiments.
And Jack, who loves to work late on his computer, can drop by Remac just before 8 pm to buy computer cables, mice and other computer accessories.