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April 26th, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 17
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Welcome Crowsnest Convenience
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Anna Kroupina Photo
Helen and Giovanni Belcastro standing in front of the renovated cedar building that houses their two establishments, CNP Real Estate and Crowsnest Convenience in Bellevue.
ANNA KROUPINA
Pass Herald Reporter
“You can come in here for a jug of milk and buy a house all in one sitting,” laughs Helen Belcastro who, with her husband Giovanni, recently opened Crowsnest Convenience and CNP Real Estate on Bellevue’s main street.

The Belcastros moved to the Pass approximately one year ago after growing tired of the hustle and bustle of life in a big city.

“We’re at that time of our life where we want to start slowing down a little bit, but still want to contribute,” says Helen. “We wanted to be in a community where we could feel like a part of it and so far, in our first year, that’s what we’re experiencing here.”

As a registered real estate agent, Helen heads the CNP Real Estate portion of the business. She runs her business out of a bright, cheery office at the front of the renovated cedar building that used to house Karasu Yoga and martial arts studio.
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Under the same roof operates Crowsnest Convenience, offering lottery tickets, all brands of cigarettes, and a range of household goods and foods with a unique focus on Italian goods.

“Being Italian, Giovanni really wanted to bring in the Italian specialty foods,” says Helen. “There’s a huge Italian community around here and in the days that we’ve been open, that’s our biggest seller.”

Italian goods are ordered from Mediterranean products importer Scarpone’s and include cold cuts and cheeses that cannot be purchased elsewhere in the area. Giovanni makes fresh Italian sandwiches on the spot, a perfect pairing to enjoy with a cup of coffee in the shop’s little sit-down area off to the side.

Calabria-born Giovanni certainly knows a thing or two about how to make the perfect sandwich. The secret, he says, is the thickness of the slice of meat. He has worked in the restaurant businesses since he was 13 years old, and over the years has owned and operated four restaurants, the most recent being a fine-Italian restaurant in Vancouver.
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In all, Helen says an accessible, convenient place to socialize and purchase household goods without driving outside of Bellevue was needed on main street.

“Because Bellevue has the business sector on this main street has lapsed over the last few years and there wasn’t really anything for the residents to spend their time,” says Helen.

Crowsnest Convenience will be expanding in the near future to offer refrigerated and frozen meals, more diary and cheese options, some fresh produce and freshly baked goods. While they currently sell coffee, they’ll be getting an espresso machine for those looking for more of a punch.

Open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Crowsnest Convenience really puts the “convenient” in convenience store.
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April 26th, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 17
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