New owner and purpose for beloved Victoria neighbourhood grocery store

Max Young
Max Young in the newly opened bulk food store For Good Measure. Photo by Belle White.

It’s been a staple of James Bay for a century, and now, during a pandemic, it is undergoing a refresh under new owners. Niagara Market (previously Niagara Grocer) has become For Good Measure and it is now a gourmet bulk food and produce business, featuring local organic produce, fresh roasted nuts and staples and a coffee shop.

Max Young bought Niagara Market in February 2020 with a possession date of April 2 – two weeks after the country had gone into lockdown due to COVID-19.

Opening the new Niagara Street location was not possible at first since health and safety protocols did then not allow in-person bulk shopping. Young had closed his Cadboro Bay For Good Measure store in mid-March, moved to an online format and created delivery and contactless pick up. He also doubled his workforce but had to use creative scheduling so they weren’t in the store at the same time.

After he and his team had adjusted to their new normal, Young turned his focus to his new business, the 1200-square foot space that had been sitting empty at 579 Niagara Street. He re-assigned members of his 16 person staff team to reconfigure the shop and he was able to open the doors in June 2020.

Island Nut Roastery product
For Good Measure carries the Young family’s own product, Island Nut Roastery. Photo by Belle White.

Young was raised in Victoria and is a second-generation grocer: his father Mark launched For Good Measure in Cadboro Bay in 1984 – the same year Young was born. The roasted nuts from the shop were so popular that Young created the popular Island Nut Roastery brand peanut butter in 2014, which is now sold throughout B.C.

Of taking on a new store in the middle of a pandemic, Young says “it’s been an emotional roller coaster and a lot of hard work. I’m not sure I could have had worse timing to start a new venture, however I’ve learned lots of important lessons in a short period of time.”

Young is featured in the October 11th instalment of Road to Recovery. A partnership between Douglas Magazine and CHEK TV, the series interviews business leaders and owners who are coping and rebounding through the pandemic.