For 18 of their 40 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colchester has made 26 Logan St. its home. That’s about to change.
The agency has many fond memories in the building, including the beginning of Big Bucks which has allowed it to grow and serve the community in many ways.
It has grown so much, in fact, that a new space is needed. The agency, and Molly’s Dairy Bar in North River, are officially announcing Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colchester will be moving to the dairy bar site and officially opening there next year. A specific date has not been confirmed.
“We couldn’t keep this exciting news to ourselves anymore,” said Michelle Misener, executive director with Big Brothers Big Sisters. “Sometime in the early new year we will be settling into our new digs, Molly’s Dairy Bar.”
Beverly Whidden, co-owner of Molly’s with husband Gary, told Colchester Weekly News the deal still has to be finalized but they will close Molly’s Dairy Bar at the end this month, allowing Big Brothers Big Sisters to take possession of the site and begin plans for relocation and expansion.
Misener couldn’t hide her excitement as she shared the plans for the future. Within the next month Flagship Construction will be busy putting on a 24 by 45-foot addition to the North River building to accommodate present and future office requirements.
With Big Bucks traffic increasing weekly, a parking lot with more than 40 spaces was also a huge draw to the new location.
“But we are most thrilled about the vision we have for the beautiful green space behind the building,” said Misener. “We want this to be an affordable and fun family destination for all Colchester County residents.”
The agency has plans for a beautiful playground, directly behind the building. It also hopes to install mini putt, trains, water activities and more.
In addition, next season the agency will continue to operate the dairy bar as a social enterprise. This change allows Big Brothers Big Sisters to provide youth in their programs with summer employment opportunities, on-the-job training and help prepare them for their future. Any profits from the dairy bar will go directly back into programs for children and youth.
The “Big Move,” as Big Brothers Big Sisters has coined it, would not be possible without the unwavering support from the community.
“We are inspired daily by the children, youth and families we serve to be even more invested in this community. We feel that our new location will allow us to do just that.”
Beverly Whidden, who plans to semi-retire after taking on a different job, said it’s the right time to sell the dairy bar and she’s thrilled Big Brothers Big Sisters is taking the site over.
“I’m thrilled because it’s going to kids. They are a good organization … and it was always a kid oriented place (here). I’ve employed more than 100 local kids,” at the business, she said.
“I want to express my appreciation of all the support the customers have given me over the 14 years,” the Whiddens have owned the business.
More information on the change will become available throughout the process. To stay up-to-date on all the latest news with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colchester, follow them on Facebook and Instagram @BBBS or visit their website www.colchesterkids.ca
- With additional reporting by Colchester Weekly News