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Folignos & friends keep a local landmark alive on Long Lake Road

The familiar Long Lake Road convenience store has been reopened as the Long Lake General Store

It has been a landmark in the Long Lake Road local neighbourhood for years and now it is part of Sudbury's Foligno Family.

The well-known local convenience store has reopened as the Long Lake General Store, under new ownership (Foligno family, Frank Grossi and Ryan Nesci), with an updated look.

NHL hockey star Nick Foligno said it was almost serendipity the way he and other family members noticed in the spring that the familiar store was up for sale, since he lived in that neighbourhood. 

Foligno said he texted friends with a suggestion to buy the store only to learn that his close friend Frank Grossi was already thinking about that same thing. 

"He said, ‘Hold tight, actually, are you serious? I might be actually already in the process of buying.’ And I'm like, ‘No way.’ He's like, ‘You really want to do this?’ So we started talking, and it came from there. And then Frank got the bright idea to bring Ryan in, thank God."

Foligno said in recent weeks it came to him how important a local store can be and it brought back happy childhood memories for him as there was a neighbourhood store near his grandparents’ home. He remembered his own children being excited to go to the Long Lake store for ice cream and it became a special place for them.

"And I hope we can make that kind of a feeling for people in this community. And I think we have the right people and the right hearts in place to do it. We're learning from Ryan how to do it. But it's been really fun. And I mean, these guys have done all the work," Foligno said. 

The store has been updated and renovated but still has the folksy charm of a welcoming front porch. Nesci said the store will be a typical corner store with everything families need as they head home, along with other items commonly purchased by people at nearby camps and cottages. This includes firewood, barbecue supplies and even outboard motor oil. 

As the group was posing for an opening day photo, a local customer squeezed them by carrying hot dog buns, barbecue sauce and a carton of chocolate milk. 

Co-owner Frank Grossi said it is important to provide things that the local neighbours need without having to “drive up over the hill,” or go into the built-up area of town to get supplies. 

With Saturday and Sunday being the opening weekend, the new owners have invited area residents to drop by and qualify for several door prize draws including a raffle for some genuine NHL hockey jerseys.

Proceeds from the raffle will be directed to the Janis Foligno Foundation in support of breast cancer research. Well-known former NHLer Mike Foligno said the foundation was created in honour of his wife Janis who died in 2009. He said the charity has raised more than a million dollars over the years. 

Mike Foligno said his family is pleased to be able to give back to the wider Sudbury community which has shown so much support over the years.

He said he was pleased recently to meet a local citizen who expressed gratitude for the research donations because the man's wife was diagnosed with cancer and she was able to receive excellent treatment in her struggle to beat cancer.  

Mike Foligno said the foundation is also pleased to support Meals on Wheels, which was a favourite charity that his wife supported. 

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Len Gillis

About the Author: Len Gillis

Graduating from the Journalism program at Canadore College in the 1970s, Gillis has spent most of his career reporting on news events across Northern Ontario with several radio, television and newspaper companies. He also spent time as a hardrock miner.
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