David Weir, who helped build the oversized Adirondack chair, said he was proud to see the finished product in front of the store.
“I was using the power tools to screw the nails into the wood right here,” Weir said next to the bright red chair near the main entrance. “I also cut up the wood. They got me trained on the power saws.”
He said he was honoured to participate in the project.
“It was a fun experience, seeing how it got to be built and being a part of putting it all together,” he said.
Weir said he’d like to build one of the chairs for New Boundaries.
Melanie Singleton, the operations manager at New Boundaries, said this is a major opportunity to put their initiatives front and centre in the community.
“There’s 29 centres, including New Boundaries, across the province and we started a scaling up initiative, which means all 29 want to work together to see what we might not be able to do as one, but could collectively,” Singleton said. “We began looking into various ventures and the Ability Wood Products Cooperative came out of that.”
New Boundaries is a non-profit agency providing services for adults with diverse abilities.
Singleton said the wood products initiative has ramped up quickly, in large part due to Sobeys' application for the chairs.
New Boundaries was asked to personally deliver four of the chairs they built to Sobeys locations in Greenwood, Digby, Windsor and New Minas.
“This is all about community involvement; it’s so great to make a connection with a business that has supported us in the past,” she said.
“Our clients are going to be able to go out in the community and say ‘Hey, I built that,’”Singleton said.
“It opens doors as far as community employment goes, potential jobs for our clients, partnerships for our clients.”
The chair will be used for Sobeys' Atlantic Canada-wide contest Share the Chair, where customers are encouraged to take pictures of themselves sitting in the chair and snap a photo and share on social media, using the hashtag #ChairShare to enter for a chance to win a year’s worth of groceries.
The contest runs from May 25 to Aug. 9, 2017.
Jeff Cross, the manager of Sobeys in Windsor, said he’s proud to support the local organization.
“This is a home-grown company; we started here in Atlantic Canada and we’ve always been about connecting with community,” Cross said. “It means a lot for us to connect with this group.”
Cross said he was very happy that their chair out front was built by a group right in town.
Did you know?
Five social enterprise organizations worked together to build the chairs for Sobeys stores across the province.
· The CACL Community Workshop in Antigonish built 20 chairs
· Corridor Community Options in Enfield built 20 chairs
· Penny Lane Enterprises in Milton built 17 chairs
· Haley Street Adult Services Centre Society in North Sydney built 20 chairs
· New Boundaries in Windsor built 15 chairs.
Total chairs built by the cooperative: 92
Employees who worked on the project: 69