St. Joseph Islander Review

Meet Island Markets’ New Owner Joanne Martin/Popcorn Seasoning Secret Sauce Will Make Me Wealthy $$

"The Island Market Will Continue To Run As Is"

After much anticipation I finally had the honor to sit down with Joanne who will be taking over the Island Market grocery store on October 31.Since we heard through the grapevine that the property was up for sale and then sold, everyone wanted to know what will happen to the grocery store, will they keep their jobs and everything else that accompanies a major sale and venture like that. Below is my chat with Ms. Martin. 

Thank you Joanne for joining me for a chat and might I add that you have a lovely three piece living room set here. Thank you Ernest and thank you for allowing me to introduce myself to the community by the way of your publication.

Anyway with the silliness aside, here are the questions that were asked..

1) When did you start to consider the purchase of the Henshell block and why? 

 We had been looking for business opportunities for awhile.  When the Island Market came up for sale we saw it as a great opportunity to own a fantastic business that was well established and an integral part of this community.  We have used the Market personally and have always enjoyed the interactions with the staff and our needs have always been met.  I was impressed at how clean and organized the store is which to me is an obvious reflection of the hard working staff and their commitment to the business.  We love the island and have loved shopping at the Island Market.  We have a house in Hilton Beach that we spend the summers at and frequent Richards Landing regularly.  When the opportunity became available to own such an essential part of St. Joseph’s Island we jumped at it.

2) Do you have any immediate or long term plans for the properties?

We have been impressed by the improvements of the grocery store throughout the last several years under Thomas Henshell’s ownership.  Upon the transition of the sale Thomas has highlighted the areas the he has already improved and ideas that he had that he had not yet been able to incorporate.  I definitely want to have some time to get my feet wet with learning the ins and outs of the business, but if ideas come forth that are a need of the community and will help to make the Market an even more integral part of the lives of the residents that live on the island, then I definitely will give it great consideration.  I truly want the market to be a part of everyone’s lives on the Island.  The more I talk with the employees, residents, and patrons, the more I get a great sense of the importance of the Market in their lives.  I plan to continue working in that direction and continue to grow the business in the best way possible.  I understand how the Market has provided St. Josephs Island residents the opportunity to access groceries as apposed to commuting.  I can not tell you how many times people have commented on the amazing meat department and the high quality meat supplied, It’s truly reputable.  To be able to access local fruits, vegetables, and eggs etc.; it’s everything I love.

3) In regards to employees and staffing, would it be fair to say that you are going to be in an assessment mode for the early stages, and if changes are to be make you will address that after a certain period of time?

I have had the opportunity to meet many of the employees that work at the market.  They have been very kind and welcoming. I am excited to begin building strong working relationships with them. There are absolutely no plans of any staffing changes.  I have expressed on the few occasions when I met with the Store Manager Dawn Stinson this sentiment. It’s important to me that the current team of employees working not fear this change of ownership. I acknowledge that they are the backbone of the Markets success. 

4) Obviously then it is accurate to confirm that the Market grocery store is cemented in bedrock.

Yes, the Market will continue to run as is.

5)  What kind of roots do you have to the area as I understand you are from the Soo but have a cottage/property in Hilton Beach.

I was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie. As a teenager and young adult I have many fond memories of  visiting St. Joseph Island, attending Cornfest, and visiting with friends at their family cottages.  Upon having my own family, I have taken many trips to Glibertson’s for class trips, drives with my family to the Legion for the Maple Syrup run, watching my Mom, aunt, uncle, and cousins march in the Legion Colour party and marching bands in both the Richards Landing and Hilton Beach parades. My children and I have also competed in the Triathlon that was held on the island for many years. I now enjoy spending my summers at our house in Hilton Beach, boating, biking, and hiking the area.

6) Are there things that you may have noticed (cosmetically/efficiency) that you are going to address without obviously naming them at this point. I understand you are just about to take over & only did your walkabout to meet the staff and management a week ago. 

Yes, you are correct. It’s too early at this time to predict any changes cosmetically and/or efficiency wise, but they will definitely be looked at in the future if the need be.

7) Would you say that this acquirement is more of a property investment or are you looking to improve or adjust things per se?

I am really truly excited to be a part of this wonderful community. I hope that under my ownership the Market will continue to thrive and see changes that will only grow with the needs of the residents. I am a strong supporter of local shopping and sourcing local products. I will be dedicated full-time to the Market and its’ needs, and this opportunity will not be taken lightly. It is not just a financial investment; it’s a great chance to be a part of something that is integral to the peoples lives, and to continue to be challenged on how to make it better.

I am sure the residents are going to love to hear about our chat. Thanks once again and don’t get up as I can let myself out, and by the way I love your dogs !! 

Recipe That Is Going to Make Me a Mi$$ionarie!!

I have been experimenting in the lab for years and finally I have found my ticket to paradise. Playing around with old fashioned popcorn for years it dawned on me what was missing…..Kraft Dinner !!

Yes, I tried it and it works. I will give out the recipe here as I have already submitted my patent and it is “patent pending” so either way when it becomes commercial I get the royalty cheques.

1 Cup of popcorn kernels.

1 TBSP of oil

Heat and add kernels to oil and shake covered until popping slows to one pop per 5 seconds. 

Decant popcorn in a large white bowl (white only).

Add 1/2 cup of melted butter and shake.

Add 1/4 package of Kraft Dinner seasoning and shake and coat all the popped corn. 


** Peanut Butter and Jam recipe coming soon and please take The POLL for Mayor from yesterdays publication**

Socials & Stuff

  • Jam Night with Nachos @ The Wharf this Thursday from 7-10pm (bring your guitar or stringed instrument)  


  • Alcoholics Anonymous Meets @ 7pm/Rear entrance United Church Every Friday


    Skye Wallace plays the Richards Landing Hall/Oct 29 @ 8pm


    Are You Registered to Vote?/St. Joseph Township/(705) 246-2625


    IMPORTANT / Please VOTE OCTOBER 24 !!!

  • Legion Halloween Dance Oct 29/9pm-1am/Call for Tickets (705) 246-2494


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