The grand opening of a new “social enterprise centre” on May 24 was a huge success. Several hundred people were excited to attend an open house and barbecue forthe recently expanded Pollock’s Hardware Coop. Guests included local MLAs Gord Mackintosh and Kevin Chief and city councillor Ross Eadie.

The event marked the beginning of an expanded local hardware store, celebrated the strength of partnership, and raised awareness forthe healthy social and economic development taking place in the North End and Point Douglas neighbourhoods. It all started when Pollock’s Hardware Co-op, BUILD (Building Urban Industries for Local Development), and Manitoba Green Retrofit(MGR), joined forces to purchase the three-storey warehouse at 765 Main St. which once housed CP Rail’s Station A and processed the mail for all of Western Canada afterthe 1920s.

The trio expanded the existing artist space on the third floor to accommodate 14 artists. The second floor was renovated to create a shop, board room, kitchen, and office space for the partners, as well as numerous bright and modern offices for lease. The first floor is dedicated to Pollock’s. The new location will operate in conjunction with the co-op’s other location at 1407

Main and will stock largeritems like lumber, drywall, and toilets that BUILD and other contractors need, as well as unique products not carried in chain outlets, and commonly needed repair items for homeowners in the area. Organizations such as L.I.T.E., CCED-NET, and the Point Douglas Residents Committee have already moved in to create a social enterprise hub. Mike Wolchok, manager of Pollock’s, has a vision forinner-city development and local enterprise.The expansion of Pollock’s is happening slowly and naturally, but is already profitable. Wolchok and his employees are patiently working atrestoring old hardware bins and some of the original mail carts. A retro delivery van is in the works. Wolchok is also working on paperwork to make 765 Main a heritage building.

Clearly, he is passionate about bringing old things to life and he and his partners are helping to bring our oldest neighbourhoods back to life. The goal of Pollock’s expansion to the 765 Main is to bring building supplies closer to where people without vehicles can get them, to provide a “shop local” option with knowledgeable service and advice for first time homeowners, and to keep profits in the community. The refurbished building at 765 Main is located on the first lot north of the railway underpass and is accessible via Sutherland Avenue. Parking is available inside a fenced area. The building will soon be more visible when business logos, sponsored by Assiniboine Credit Union, are painted on the wall facing Main. Retail hours are Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Sonya Braun is a community correspondent for the North End. You can contact her at

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