Vancouver independent grocery Killarney Market was recently bought out by a competitor and locals are upset.
The Killarney Market became internationally famous after its starring role in the video for crooner Bublé’s 2009 hit Haven’t Met You Yet. In the music video, the singer walks the tops of standing freezers and floats through the aisles before leading a marching band at the check out and igniting a flash mob—all in the name of love. The trope of an accidental meet-cute or grocery store love at first sighting is popular in romantic comedies, and Bublé’s use of it helped make the local market somewhat of a tourist attraction.
But CBC News reports the owner was ready to retire, and with that, a changing of hands has resulted in storewide discounts and an inventory clean out. The sale to 88 Supermarket—another independent Vancouver grocery store—was completed weeks ago, and renovations will be completed over the next couple of months. The store’s old sign, which can be seen in Bublé’s video, will soon come down as well.
“We really appreciate the fact that they have so many different varieties of groceries that we don't normally get in the Safeway or Superstores. They have their own inventory of stuff, which is really nice,” Vincent Chan, a Killarney Market customer, told CBC. “I remember Michael Bublé doing his video shoot here at this supermarket. That’s something that will stick in my mind for a while. It was kind of cool.”
Many customers expressed that they valued the store both for its options and musical association, making it a source of local pride.
“I was driving home from work and I noticed that there were film trailers and they had lights set up here ... when I found out it was a Michael Bublé video I felt really proud to live in this neighbourhood,” Wendy Lam, another one of the market’s regulars, told the Canadian news outlet.
While some are mourning the loss of Killarney’s current inventory and Bublé association, Felipe Leon, the store’s manager, assures customers the heart of the market’s shopping experience will remain the same. All the current staff are expected to keep their jobs despite the transfer of ownership, and the shelves will hold on to their Latin American and European stock the Killarney Market is known for, while expanding to include more Asian and Southeast Asian products.