Melville businesses raise community's spirits though punny 'sign war'

·2 min read
The Pharmasave in Melville, Sask., is among the businesses participating in a good-natured 'sign war,' along with Home Hardware and the local Independent grocery store. (Submitted by Kim Haas - image credit)
The Pharmasave in Melville, Sask., is among the businesses participating in a good-natured 'sign war,' along with Home Hardware and the local Independent grocery store. (Submitted by Kim Haas - image credit)

If you live in or pass through Melville, Sask., you may see some interesting and especially punny business signs.

For example, a local Home Hardware sign that reads, "We heard someone took a LEEK at the Independent," a grocery store in the eastern Saskatchewan city of about 4,500.

Or a sign at that grocery store that reads, "Home Hardware, ROMAINE calm and LETTUCE join. Sign war?"

Or maybe a local plumbing company with a window sign reading, "Independent, LETTUCE help you with your LEEKS!"

Local businesses in Melville are putting up these playful and often hilarious signs to bring a smile to the community.

Submitted by Jeff Appel
Submitted by Jeff Appel

Jeff Appel, store manager of the local Home Hardware, says the "sign war" started when his business decided to have some fun with one of their signs. Other businesses loved it, and decided to join in.

"Once Independent kind of committed and said, 'let us join the sign war,' then we responded back and it kind of just took off from there," said Appel.

Listen to Melville businesses explain their 'sign war' on CBC's The Afternoon Edition:

Kim Haas, floor assistant manager at Vahagn's Your Independent Grocer, says the store couldn't ignore Home Hardware's initial signs.

"We kind of spotted their signs for, you know, a week or so and we just thought we had to play along," said Haas.

"The next business to join in was the business across the street. And then from there I think it's up to eight businesses now in town. So it's kind of funny."

Submitted by Jennifer Martin
Submitted by Jennifer Martin

One of those businesses is the Melville Pharmasave. And even the Bank of Montreal joined in.

"So far, it's been fantastic. Lots of people have been stopping in and saying 'way to go' and that it's funny. And [we got] a lot of Facebook comments. So I think everyone's definitely in favour of it," Appel said.

Haas says she and her co-workers had no idea the "sign war" would blow up so quickly.

"I think everybody else and the businesses are taking it with a good heart. With a pandemic, you just need a good laugh," Haas said.

"The people in the community drive around now to see who's got the next line or who's got the best line. Nobody's trying to bash anybody or anything like that. It's just for a fun cause and something to do."

Submitted by Jeff Appel
Submitted by Jeff Appel

Multiple signs later, the war and the fun continues. Appel says that while Home Hardware had no idea their initial silly sign would create a trend, he's happy to see it continue.

"It's a small community. Everyone's had a hard year with all the restrictions. We just wanted to bring a smile to people's faces. That's all we wanted."

More from CBC Saskatchewan:

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