Written By Chris Pouget
The beginning of my love affair with the Alberni Valley and the little “green and white” store on River Road begins circa summer 2002. Armed with a Motorola flip phone and a seat aboard the original Tofino Bus 8 passenger van I was struck with a deep curiosity as we rolled by. What’s in there? Where Are the windows? Great location. Someone should turn that into something… you know. All talk. Each passing would be met with a mini fantasy and visions of what could be. When we moved to Sproat Lake in 2016 passing The Riverbend Store became a staple of daily life. The difference by this point was that it was for sale! My wife and I had made the fantasy talk a regular thing as we passed each day. In truth we were still blissfully oblivious to the idea that one day while doing dishes we would take a hard left turn and become the new owners/caretakers of the Riverbend story. I mean the timing was totally perfect. We were pregnant with our second child and there was a world-wide pandemic beating down the economy. Sometimes you just have to bet on yourself and press go.