St. Marys a perfect fit for new Foodland owner

If you’ve seen a new face out on the floor at St. Marys Foodland, perhaps greeting people at the front door or stocking shelves, it might well have been the new store owner, Corey McKay.


  • Biography   Thursday, February 25, 2021   Stewart Grant
Michelle and Corey McKay stand just outside of St. Marys Foodland where Corey became the new store owner on January 4, 2021. (Stewart Grant photo)


Michelle and Corey McKay stand just outside of St. Marys Foodland where Corey became the new store owner on January 4, 2021. (Stewart Grant photo)


By Stewart Grant
If you’ve seen a new face out on the floor at St. Marys Foodland, perhaps greeting people at the front door or stocking shelves, it might well have been the new store owner, Corey McKay.
“I’ve been in the grocery industry pretty much my whole life; it was my first job in high school, starting out at A&P loading groceries into people’s cars,” McKay told the Independent.
Over the course of thirty years of advancing through the industry from that first student job, McKay has had his turn working nearly every aspect of a grocery store. This gives him the unique opportunity to relate easily to each of the 50 or so employees at St. Marys Foodland, where he became the new owner on January 4, 2021.
The opportunity in St. Marys was a perfect fit for Corey and his wife Michelle, who both grew up in southwestern Ontario and share the same small town values. Corey was raised in Sarnia and Michelle in Woodstock. The couple, who celebrated their 15th year of marriage last October, currently reside in north London along with their 13-year-old son, Liam, though they are beginning to look at housing options closer to town.
Michelle works at Fanshawe College, working in advancement and alumni relations. She also does fundraising for the college and is in the faculty of science, trades and technology. When not at Fanshawe, Michelle helps Corey behind the scenes with much of the paperwork that is involved in owning a business.
Prior to arriving in St. Marys, Corey was store manager at Foodland in Brussels, and prior to that, grocery manager in Lucan. In 2019, Corey completed the nearly year-long “Franchisee in Training” program through Foodland, which involved travelling around to different stores all over the province to gain experience in different departments.
When the St. Marys store came up as an ownership opportunity, McKay was quick to apply for it.
“We love St. Marys. We’ve always enjoyed coming here on day trips ... it’s like a dream come true. We’re so lucky to be able to get this store. We want to establish roots here and be part of the community.”
Through their full-service grocery store, open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., the McKay’s look forward to supporting the community, providing opportunity for local vendors, and to getting involved with area service groups and charities.
Something unique that I learned regarding Foodland’s support for seniors, or others with mobility constraints, is that the store offers grocery delivery to people’s homes within the Town of St. Marys. To take advantage of the service, simply call the store at 519-284-2631 to place your order and pay by credit card. There’s no minimum order, and the delivery charge is seven dollars.
The day that I met with Corey, he was wearing a Montreal Canadiens mask, which to me instantly showed his willingness to share something personal about himself to others and to help break the ice towards friendly conversation. Corey was a young lad when the Habs were in the midst of their late-70’s Stanley Cup dynasty and he’s cheered them on ever since. He’s a big sports fan in general, including both college basketball (Michigan State in particular) and NBA (Sacremento Kings and LA Clippers).
Corey and Michelle’s shared interests include traveling, music, and sometimes...both at the same time. The couple are huge Tragically Hip fans and over the years, had the opportunity to see them play in small settings in places like Syracuse, Rochester and Cleveland.
Welcome to St. Marys, Corey and Michelle McKay!