(On October 1st, Garfield and Dean officially retired from Re-Read Used Books in Stittsville. The store was packed with loyal customers extending their fond farewells. The busy Garfield and Dean take a moment from their retirement party to pose for a photo or two. Photos: Stittsville Central.)
Opening in September 2015, Re-Read Used Books was a welcome addition to Stittsville Main Street and the business community. The book store was a retirement project for Dean McIntosh who opened the store to ease into his retirement years. On October 1, 2023, Dean retired from the ownership of Re-Read and Garfield as the store’s mascot.
What a retirement party it was. The celebrants wore matching ‘Garfield’ shirts that were loved by everyone. There were cupcakes decorated with cats and happy retirement signs, spring rolls from Thailicious, a gift basket draw and a large card for all to sign. The store was crowded inside and out from the time the party began until it ended. Everyone in the community has a connection to Re-Read, a story to tell and wanted to express their goodbyes to Dean and Garfield for all they have done over the years.
From opening day, the store has been a success thanks to a supportive community and the service the customers received. Dean and Fran, the store manager, have always went above and beyond to serve the community through the care they have for their customers. Many of whom have been loyal from the first day of opening. Of course, Garfield was integral to all of the business decisions and happily greeted each customer as they entered the store – he will sadly miss the daily attention he received.
That care was truly shown in 2020, when businesses had to close due to Covid, Dean and Fran set the bar high and quickly modified their book store to a curbside pick-up and home delivery model with the health of their customers top of mind. At this time, Dean told us, “we are very grateful for all of the community support during these unusual times for small businesses”. Nothing more could show how much they appreciated their customers and the importance of ensuring they had books to read.
Back in May of this year, Dean had decided to sell Re-Read and began putting feelers out to the public on social media. One of those who took notice, was a loyal customer, Trisha Tropiano. A book lover, she had travelled often from her home in Riverside South over the years to Re-Read always leaving with an armful of reading material. Upon learning that the store was up for sale, she quickly told her partner Ray when she arrived home from a visit to Re-Read.
After speaking with Dean, the Tropianos knew this was an opportunity they could not pass up and quickly made plans to purchase Re-Read Used Books. Trisha and Ray were married in early September, so purchasing Re-Read was the perfect wedding gift to each other and a wonderful start to a new venture in life with their two children, Izzy & Nathan.
Trisha and Ray told us, “the community is so supportive of the store – we are so pleased to see so many here today to welcome us and the children. We look forward to continuing Dean and Fran’s work building the business and meeting more of our customers. Today has shown us the importance of owning a book store in Stittsville and how much Garfield and Dean will be missed.”
“We are also happy that Fran and all of the staff will be staying on to help us continue with the store’s operations. We can only succeed with this continued support,” said Ray.
Although Garfield will be sorely missed, along with Dean too, they will “drop in from time to time,” said Dean, who will continue to work as a public servant for another couple of years. “I am truly going to miss the customers – it was a hard decision to make, but at this point in time, it was the right one and I’ve certainly found the best with Trisha and Ray taking over the business. I’ve enjoyed my years keeping the shelves stocked with good reading materials and more. I extend my best wishes to Trisha and Ray in their new endeavour.”
As Garfield was bidding farewell, he wanted to do something special for the cat community and asked the folks at Furry Tales Rescue to join the retirement party. They were happy to be invited and took in the party atmosphere with a display table and special gift basket draw.
Re-Read Used Books has been an integral business in our community since 2015. Stittsville residents welcome Trisha, Ray, Izzy and Nathan in their new business adventure.