Mitchell Brothers' General Store
Mitchell Brothers’ General Store first opened its doors in Cranberry in 1946 as A. Bosa and Mitchell Bros. General Merchants. The joint business venture between Augusto Bosa, and Albert and Marino (Babe) Mitchell began in the wake of the Second World War after the Mitchell brothers returned from their positions overseas.
Augusto Bosa began his career as a merchant in Powell River when he started selling groceries from a cart in Cranberry around 1929, and a few years later moved his operation into the back of Joe Derton’s pool hall. Bosa’s next move was into a building near the current Mitchell Brothers’ location, across the street and towards the Cranberry School where he opened a general store. In the early years of Bosa's business, he catered to fellow Italians living at Riverside where he delivered olive oil, cheese, and grapes.
The Mitchell brothers were also part of Powell River's Italian community. Albert and Marino Mitchell were the sons of Teresa Babuin and Peter Mitchell (Pietro Micheluzzi), Italian immigrants who settled in Powell River around 1910. As the two youngest children of the family, they were born in Canada, whereas most of their other siblings were born in Italy. Peter Mitchell chose to anglicize his name after immigrating to Canada, and the family assumed the surname of Mitchell.
The Mitchells and Bosa went to work creating a plan for their new business soon after the war. Shortly after entering the partnership, Marino Mitchell travelled to Vancouver where he spent some time learning the trade of butchery which allowed their business to expand into the sale of fresh meats. The store became well known for their quality meats and produce, a reputation which remains today.
The business’ grand opening as a department store took place in 1948. The store was the first to provide the community of Cranberry with fresh produce and meat, dry goods, hardware, furniture, and appliances, all under one roof.
By 1961 Albert and Marino had purchased Bosa's share of the company and he retired to Vancouver. In 1981 Peter Mitchell, son of Marino Mitchell, took over the business from his father and uncle. He changed the name of the store to its current title, Mitchell Brothers General Store.
In 2017 new owners Mike and Fanny Tam took over the business from Peter Mitchell, and continue to run Mitchell Brothers as the hometown grocery store Powell River has known for over seventy-five years.