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‘Roseberry Runway’ marks anniversary with a bang

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When Jackie Champagne said she wanted to open a gas bar and convenience store in Barwick, she said a lot of people laughed at her and told her it wouldn’t survive.

But after one year of operation, Champagne and the “Roseberry Runway” are still around--and any critics have stopped laughing.

Although the store officially turned one last Tuesday, Champagne will be holding the anniversary celebrations tomorrow in conjunction with Canada Day festivities in Barwick.

“We’ve got draws for the kids, caps and key chains to give away, and all kinds of specials,” she enthused. “We’re having a lot of things going on.”

There have been several changes since “Roseberry Runway” opened last summer, including the addition of a laundromat and coffee shop.

Its ownership also has changed, with Cindy Judson, originally Champagne’s partner, leaving to pursue a career in nursing and home care.

While Champagne said she and Judson worked well together as partners, it is an interesting feeling being the sole proprietor.

“For me, it’s like having a brand new business,” she explained.

The first year did have its share of downs, Champagne admitted, especially in the winter when there weren’t many people in the store. But as spring and summer came along, so did more customers--and she said they keep coming back.

“I just really appreciate the support from the whole community because without them, we wouldn’t survive,” she stressed. “We made it through our first winter and I feel we’ll make it through our next 100 winters.”

Now that the store has established itself, Champagne isn’t planning to rest on her laurels. She said she wants it to grow and improve even more by its second anniversary.

“What I’m hoping we’re able to do next summer is add a patio and outdoor eating area, like a street cafe,” she noted.

She also hinted at several other plans for the store but said she’s not ready to reveal them just yet.

“[Having the business] is almost like a dream come true for me,” Champagne said. “If you’re going to be working 15 hours a day, you might as well do it for yourself.

“It’s a good feeling for me.”

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