Special to The NEWS
Every journey is an adventure, and for Qualicum Beach business owners and residents, Maureen and Ron Groves, the past 17 years have proved nothing short of just that, as Village Clothing Ladies Fashions and Men's Wear closes in the New Year.
"It's been a partnership," said Maureen, when talking about working alongside husband of 45 years, Ron.
"In business and in marriage."
"I had a card and gift shop on Memorial Avenue, 24-years ago," she said.
After repeatedly hearing there was a need for menswear in their community, Maureen switched strides. "We didn't know whether it would work but it has actually worked very well," she said of her and Ron's card-to-clothing transition. "We've gotten to know our locals fairly well."
While discussing the trends of Qualicum Beach, Maureen makes mention that often the trends we see sports broadcasters and weather-woman wearing, are typically two years ahead of us. New York, Toronto and Montréal are the epicenter of trends.
"We've always tried to bring quality product without going too high-end," said Maureen. "It's a retirement town and good clothes are a luxury."
With success as one of Qualicum's longest serving retailers and consistent local charitable contributors, the Groves' talk taking chances in business and attributing accomplishments to their staff — Village Clothing's homegrown family of hard-workers.
"Wendy has been with us since 2004 and Brenda since 2013," said Maureen. "We've been lucky over the years. Nobody came and went quickly."
Just as the Groves' wind up for the holiday season, they're equally as excited to formally wind down in preparation for retirement nearing the end of January 2017. Though an official closing date has not yet been announced, when asked about future plans, Maureen said:
"Just not having business on our minds 24/7 will be a little bit of a relief."
In addition to walking their dog, Jackson, and camping come the summer months, the Groves' make note that spoiling their two granddaughters with their newfound time is something definitely on their agenda.
"We're looking forward to not having to be up early every day," Maureen says.
As the holidays approach, everyone is encouraged to swing by Village Clothing, located at 120 West 2nd Ave, in Qualicum Beach, for discounts on all remaining merchandise.
Anyone with a credit note or gift certificate should hurry in and use it up.