Marfatia brings experience to the Harbour

FITZROY HARBOUR – Tejal T.J. Marfatia was put in the firing line on day one of proprietorship of The Harbour Store, the same time a Canada Post job posting for a postmaster for the village was acting as a trigger to residents who had to fight for their post office just 10 years earlier.

It is a mess in which he played no role in. It’s a good thing he’s bringing a lot of experience to his new business.

West Carleton Online spoke to Marfatia, 54, Sept. 21 about the issue of the Canada Post-staffed position inside The Harbour Store. That same day we spoke to Marfatio about his journey to Fitzroy Harbour and his thoughts on the new business. In a world of breaking news, we chose to run the Canada Post story first, and are now catching up with Marfatia.

He says its been a warm welcome to Fitzroy Harbour where he comes to from Toronto where he had been managing a Shell Gas Station.

“I have to work hard and get to know how everything works,” Marfatia says of his new venture. “I’m really surprised. I’ve only been here three weeks and it seems like 70 per cent of the community knows me. It’s very heartwarming.”

Marfatia had just spent 10 years in Savannah, Georgia operating a liquor store in the U.S.

“I’ve got a good background in the industry,” he said.

While in the U.S. he applied for permanent residency in Canada around 2014. He had to head back to India, his native country, for three years though.

“My father’s health was not that good,” he said.

Last January, he came to view the business.

Marfatia is now living in Kanata, his wife Parita and daughters Juhi and Nikki are still in Toronto. His wife is a medical receptionist and Juhi is just finishing her last year of college. The plan is for his wife, for sure and maybe more, to join him in Kanata in five or so months.

Marfatia was ready to get out of Toronto.

“Toronto is so busy, crowded, noisy,” Marfatia said. “I wanted to go somewhere less busy. Where you see the same people every day. A community.”

After three weeks (at the time of the interview) he thinks he may have found that.

“No complaints,” Marfatia said. “I like the people, the community. You respect them and they respect you. I’m touched.”

Marfatia says he has applied for the position of postmaster but says his business plan isn’t dependent on operating it. Canada Post only pays about $200 a month in rent and just over minimum wage to staff the position. That’s if he gets the job. Marfatia knew all this when he purchased the business.

He says he likes the situation at The Harbour Store.

“It has a good turnover,” Marfatia said. “I don’t have to worry about liquor prices. They are the same price everywhere. That’s different in the U.S. This is a hub. I’m feeling like I’m at home.”