(Above Marc and Line Gendron in front of the bright red-and-green barn near Hazeldean Road. Photo by Barry Gray.)
Another local business with deep roots in Stittsville has announced it will be closing its doors. Gendron Antiques and Productions will cease operations at the end of November this year. The company will then have until December 31 to move out and pass the building on to new ownership.
“The whole reason behind the sale is retirement,” says owner Marc Gendron. Despite continued success for the business, he and his wife Line are ready for the next chapter in their lives. “We’re getting up to the age where we really want to take time for ourselves and we had an offer for the property we couldn’t refuse.”
The company has been family owned and operated since 1965. Marc Gendron’s parents started the company a half-century ago, with his father purchasing items and his mother refinishing them. The company grew slowly at the old Stittsville Flea Market across the street from their current location. Since 2002, Marc and Line have operated out of their current location at 1145 Carp Road near Hazeldean.
The Gendrons might have decided it is time to move on, but they insist that they are not closing the business entirely. “We’re not going to open another store, we’re just going to ‘wheel and deal’ a bit, probably going to go to the old flea market and sell stuff off, maybe put some in consignment somewhere. But we really want to reduce the scale.”
Moreover, Marc ensures the family tradition will live on through his son Nicolas.
“My son is going to be renting the workshop in the back of the property from the future owner. He’s going to be using that shop for a year; he may renew it after that. He’s going to continue building things, new and reclaimed wood, fireplace, mantel, stuff like that. He’s also going to be doing furniture repair and refinishing.”
Whether or not Nicolas decides to get into the antiques remains to be seen. As it stands, his role will focus strictly on reproduction.
The familiar green and red barn will remain at its current location and the new owners have plans to renovate the interior in 2016.
“Unfortunately I’m not at liberty, from the new owners, to say what’s going in there yet because it could jeopardize the plans. But the people were customers of ours and they always liked the building. They have a business and they decided that this would be perfect for it,” said Marc.
Marc and Line Gendron recently purchased a property in Carleton Place and have plans to settle down there. They may continue to sell some antiques, hoping to eventually dissolve their vast inventory that has been collected over decades in the business. Marc says he and his wife look forward to retirement. “We are able to enjoy life and do some traveling. Plus we’ve been working weekends since we were 15 years old – we want to have a bit of a life, you know!”
The business has been getting plenty of feedback from the community, with some people expressing their disappointment about the closure. “It’s sad. We have mixed feelings,” Marc agrees.
Yet with his tentative plans to operate part time in Carleton Place and his son carrying the torch in Stittsville, he ensures that people won’t be hearing the last of the Gendron family.
“We won’t be far away.”
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