Mainville Flooring has been in operation since 1957. Current co-owners, Guy and Dan, took over their parents’ business in the early 90s. On November 1st, they announced that they’re closing the store on January 28, 2023, after 65 years in business.
The store has changed locations several times over the years, but the passion and hard work that the family brings to the job has stayed the same.
In the beginning, the business was operated out of the family home. They later moved to Leduc Shopping Centre before opening a custom-made store across from Buns Master Bakery. In 1989, they moved to their current location at 491 Ninth Street East.
Originally the brothers’ plan was to slow down and only do commercial work, but due to family health issues, they decided to close their doors sooner than expected.
“It’s good that I retire but I’ve always pretended that I was semi-retired because for years and years I played with my boat in Prescott or my motor home and went everywhere,” said Guy, “I had lots of staff but today, it’s hard to get staff. I’ve never heard of a young man or young woman come out of high school and say I want to become a carpet salesman. Its very hard to attract people. At the end of the day, we decided to pack it in.”
When asked about his favorite part of the business, Guy shared that he enjoyed bidding on commercial projects. He said that over the years, Mainville Flooring won about 70% of the projects they bid on including some big contracts like the courthouse in Ottawa, many federal buildings, schools, and the Cornwall Community Hospital.
As far as what he is going to miss, Guy shared that he would miss going into work every day, and the interactions with staff, clients, and sales reps that he has built close friendships with over the years. One staff member, Paul, will have been with the company for 20 years when they close and is like a member of the family.
When asked if any memories stood out from his time in business, Guy had several interesting stories to share.
“Years and years ago when I took over the company, I was in Winnipeg at a convention, and I forced my dad to buy a carpet and vinyl cutting machine which was worth a fair chunk of money at the time, and it was because we landed the contract at the Walmart distribution center which was 141 cuts of carpet,” he explained, “We bought the machine and had it delivered from Winnipeg.”
“In 1998 we shipped ceramic tile to Boston for a very rich family in the City of Cornwall, the Kanebs,” he added, “They had a sister that lived in Boston area, so we loaded up the truck and we shipped it to her. It was 18 hours round trip. I had a delivery driver hop in the truck and I gave him a map because in those days there was no GPS.”
As for what’s next, Guy says he needs to find a part-time job because he’s, “not a sit at home kind of guy”. In his spare time, he plans to continue with his passion for motorcycles and volunteering as a driver for Wheels of Hope.
“I thank every customer that ever walked through that door. You know a lot of companies think the customer needs the company more, well we need them a lot more than they need us,” said Guy, “That’s why you need to work extra hard to get that confidence and we have tons of repeat customers. If you go in the system and punch in a phone number, job after job after sale after sale shows up.”