By Marcia Love
When William Yang decided to open a dollar store in Maple Creek, he wasn’t thinking about the profit he could make from it, but the way it could be used to benefit the community.
The owner of Cypress Dollar Deals, which is set to open later this month, hopes the business will promote shopping local and also create a place for future business owners in the community to get their start.
Yang, who owns Cypress Pizza & Chicken, saw the opportunity to open a new business after purchasing the building his business is in, which included the vacant property at 200 Jasper Street.
He has heard residents expressing their wish for simple, reasonably-priced items in town.
“They’re going to Medicine Hat or Swift Current for the cheaper products,” Yang stated.
By keeping people in town to buy these items, they’re also staying in town to shop at other stores that they wouldn’t be shopping at if they made a trip to the city.
He will be operating the new store with his partner Samantha Johnson and plans to hire at least two full-time employees plus additional part-time staff.
The intent is to hire high school students to give them business experience, Yang said.
“I want to train those high school students and educate them on money-sense,” he explained. “They won’t just work here, they’ll learn lots – customer service, leadership, management.”
The store will offer a place to inspire business-minded teens to become young entrepreneurs, he said.
“I want more young people in this town to open businesses. I want them to come and invest.”
The community hasn’t had a dollar store since the one formerly located at 38 Pacific Avenue closed several years ago.
Yang put a call out to the community to determine what exactly residents would like to see in the new store. He wrote all the suggestions down and ranked them, with the top three requests being craft, kitchen and birthday supplies.
The dollar store will offer a variety of items, including party supplies, stationery, pet supplies, personal care, kitchen items and it’s unique ‘As Seen on TV’ section.
“If people still can’t find something, they can tell me and I’ll try to look for what they need,” Yang said, adding he intends to keep prices low while still offering decent-quality products.
Prices range from $1-5 for the majority of items.
Once in operation, the dollar store will be open seven days a week, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 4 p.m. – 9 p.m. Sunday.