Londesborough's Pavao takes over Brussels Foodland ownership
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
Londesborough resident and Blyth native Shawna Pavao is the new owner of Brussels Foodland, taking over the beloved local grocery store at the beginning of this month.
After working within the Foodland world for nearly 20 years, Pavao is now the owner of a store with a special place in the community, she says, and she wants it to stay that way.
The daughter of Deb and Albert Stryker of Blyth, Pavao attended Blyth Public School and F.E. Madill Secondary School in Wingham before studying office administration at London’s Fanshawe College.
She then took a job as the front-end manager at Wingham Foodland and worked that job for 17 years. Near the end of her time in Wingham, Pavao began considering shifting her career into the realm of ownership in search of something more.
She worked at the Brussels store for a bit before entering the Franchise-in-Training program through Sobeys before working as the manager at Foodland in Hanover and then, finally, taking over in Brussels as its new owner.
Having been in the business for nearly 20 years now, Pavao says it’s been a relatively smooth transition into ownership and she feels comfortable at the Brussels store and within the community.
Pavao has lived in Londesborough for close to 10 years with her husband Tim. They’ve been together for over 20 years and married for about seven. Tim has three grown children and Shawna is now “Nanna” to their eight children.
Growing up in Blyth, Pavao was no stranger to Brussels and she says that one of the things that has really struck her about the store is the community spirit and support of Brussels. She says it’s been great to see how the community supports the store and how the store gets involved in the community through relationships with service clubs, the local fire department and others by way of their fundraisers. Furthermore, Pavao says that supporting other local businesses and producers is a cornerstone of what the store has done in recent years and what she hopes to continue doing as its new owner, bringing in apples grown near Brussels and honey produced near Walton, for example, as a way to bring local producers to local consumers.
This December, for example, the Brussels Leo Club will repeat its Supermarket Sweep fundraiser, working with the store, which Pavao says is a great relationship within the community.
Right now, Pavao says her focus is on making the store as accessible and stress-free as possible for anyone who shops there, but she does have some plans for the future. She hopes to one day refresh some aspects of the store, perhaps some new shelving or freezers, but in the more immediate future, she hopes to explore the possibility of home delivery, especially in the winter, which she thinks would be a great service for a community like Brussels.