Decades-old variety store calling it quits
Thunder Bay, Ont. — After more than 50 years in the Lindsey family, Lappe Variety on Dog Lake Road is calling it a day.
At the end of business on Feb. 28, the popular convenience store and former LCBO will close its doors as owners Bill and Isobel Lindsey have decided to retire.
“(Bill) wanted to retire,” said Tena Lindsey, who is Bill’s daughter-in-law. “He’ll be 85 next month.”
The elder Lindseys would have to commute from Thunder Bay to open the store each day, but handed the torch off to Tena and son Charles Lindsey, who live on the property.
Over the years, the Lindseys have been approached to sell the business at the corner of highways 589 and 591, yet never pulled the trigger on a deal.
“(The elder Lindseys) will not (sell the property) right now,” Tena said. “It depends on what he decides. I don’t know what his plans are right now.
“There’s been people through the years that have always said, ‘If you’re selling . . . .'”
The elder Lindseys let the LCBO licence lapse late last year, but it wasn’t a big factor in closing down the operation.
“It was part of the store and we just gave that up because it wasn’t what it used to be,” Tena said. “(Thunder Bay) is not that far really. (Dawson General Store) is down there. (Wildwoode Variety) is on the other side if you go down Otto Road if you go that way.
“(Letting the LCBO licence lapse altered business) a little bit, but not so much. You still have people who don’t want to go to the big stores in (Thunder Bay). They still came here.”
She said she’ll miss the camaraderie that came with opening the store every day.
“I’ll miss the people for sure and all the customers and the connections that you make, but we have other jobs too,” said Tena, who is a nurse, with Charles also in the health-care field.
Since they haven’t bought much product recently with the announcement of the closing, Tena said there’s not much merchandise left and what they don’t sell, they’ll use for themselves.
John Nagy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chronicle-Journal