Former fish plant worker thrives as a grocery storeowner in Canada
 
 
 
 
 
 

Former fish plant worker thrives as a grocery storeowner in Canada

/ 08:47 AM June 01, 2022
Ruby Lubigan now owns bustling a grocery store called Sari Sari Retail. She received the Emerging Business Growth award last month from the West Prince Chamber of Commerce. (Thinh Nguyen/CBCA)

Ruby Lubigan now owns bustling a grocery store called Sari Sari Retail. She received the Emerging Business Growth award last month from the West Prince Chamber of Commerce. (Thinh Nguyen/CBCA)

Filipina who came to Prince Edward Island, Canada as a temporary foreign worker at a fish plant 11 years ago is now an award-winning business owner.

Ruby Lubigan, now a Canadian citizen, owns a bustling grocery store called Sari Sari Retail in Bloomfield, P.E.I. while working full-time at a bank. She received the Emerging Business Growth award last month from the West Prince Chamber of Commerce.

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“My life in the Philippines (was) really poor. We (weren’t) able to have food three times a day. There was a time we always ate once a day only,” Lubigan told CBC.

Lubigan started out running her store out of her living room. Now she has a dedicated shop in her backyard. CONTRIBUTED

Lubigan started out running her store out of her living room. Now she has a dedicated shop in her backyard. CONTRIBUTED

Prince Edward Island is a province with a population of 153,116. Lubigan started making plans for a grocery store selling food from different cultures when she noticed a large number of workers from different Asian countries, aside from the Philippines.

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In the beginning Lubigan operated from the living room of her home. At the time, she was working full-time as a cleaner at a high school. She tirelessly went to various community events to let people know of her store.

Her business quickly outgrew the living room, so she has moved it to a shop built on her yard. She opened it in 2018 with a little bit of everything: “I have some Japanese, I have some Thai food, Chinese and Filipino,” she told CBC.

Lubigan has bigger plans. She is adding a take-out counter in her garage where she’ll be offering all-day breakfast, which is going to be fried rice, she said.

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TAGS: Filipinos in Canada
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