A new market in downtown Ponoka has people buzzing with excitement.
Makkinga Market held its soft opening Jan. 16 morning and the store was full from the moment the doors opened. Featuring unique and hard-to-get food such as specialty cheeses and meat products, it’s clear there is a demand for European groceries.
Owners Harry and Elaine Makkinga said they’ve been talking about opening up a market for some time now and finally decided to jump in. They moved quickly too; Elaine says it took three months from making the decision to opening up the market.
“We felt like the timing was right,” said Elaine.
Indeed, there were quite a few people who took in the soft opening with many people bringing them flowers of congratulations. The store has a real home town feel to it with moms lining up their babies at the front of the store while they shop.
Located on 51 Avenue, Makkinga Market brings a bit of everything from Europe, and Harry says they hope to re-evaluate the store and its potential after a year.
“We’re always open for comments and suggestions from customers,” said Harry, adding that if there’s something that customers would like to see to just mention it.
He hopes to expand Makkinga Market into many different products at a competitive price and that they can’t wait to hear from new customers.
“We want so that everybody can feel welcome here,” said Elaine.
Leading up to the opening has been an exciting one with family and friends commenting that the market-style atmosphere of the store adds to its ambience. Plus the hard-to-find products in the market add to customer excitement.
Along with spices and candies are an assortment of cheese, including smoked cheese and large cheese wheels, plus beef jerky and sausage.
“The bulk candy is huge. It’s something that’s not around,” said Elaine.
Word is already out. Makkinga Market has demand from customers in Lethbridge and Camrose who hope to be able to order and have product delivered.
“Our motto is to move product,” said Harry, who’s looking into delivery options.
The Makkingas couldn’t be more grateful to family, friends, and their church family, for their support and assistance in getting the store ready. “We feel really blessed to have this opportunity,” said Elaine.
“We believe strongly to be part of Ponoka,” added Harry.
“We think Ponoka is a beautiful town and if we can add to it in any way with this store and maybe other things in the future, we’d love to be part of that.”
A grand opening is set for around Valentine’s Day.