Dean’s brand transformed local grocery industry

CHESTERVILLE – Longtime independent grocer Mike Dean – the man who became a household name throughout the region – passed away at the Garden Villa Fri., July 28 after a long battle with liver disease and cancer.

He was 67 years old.

His legacy all started on May 11, 1976, when Dean bought the former Laflamme’s Grocery located on King Street in Chesterville.

In 1979, Dean married Nancy McMillan of Grantley, and the Dean family began to grow. His first purchase would eventually become the flagship store of the Mike Dean’s Super Food Store operation, which expanded throughout the years into a chain of six locations in Winchester, Chesterville, Vankleek Hill, Bourget, Almonte, and Sharbot Lake.

Dean’s children Gordon (Pamela) and Julie (Daniel) began to work in the business at a young age, and both are now involved in the daily operation of the stores.

Pictured are Pamela, Gordon, Mike, Nancy, and Julie Dean, along with grandchildren Siena, Thomas, Benjamin, and Samuel.

One by one, five grandchildren, Siena, Thomas, Benjamin, Samuel and Zacharie, joined the family.

The Deans were never affiliated with any of the national chains, and all of their purchasing was directly from producers. Nancy Dean also managed to launch some private labelling through her Nancy’s Fancy trademark.

Although several of the stores were consolidated, and Winchester’s warehouse sold to Sobey’s last year, the three current locations in Chesterville, Sharbot Lake, and Bourget have created a landmark in the grocery industry that will forever live on in Dean’s namesake.

Friends are invited to visit at the Marsden and McLaughlin Funeral Home in Chesterville today (Wed., Aug. 2) from 2 to 4 pm and 7 to 9 pm.

The funeral service will be held at Christ Church United in Chesterville on Thurs., Aug. 3 at 11 am.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to the Chesterville Waterfront Beautification Project, something that was dear to Dean’s heart.