For decades, Jardins Cléroux has pretty much been a gardener’s dream come true, but that may soon change.
The business has rows and rows of plants — 100 thousand square feet to be exact, plus, herbs and veggies, trees, cedars and so much more.
The store also offers delivery service and soil analysis, but clients who come here say what makes the store truly unique is the people who run it.
The West Island store is owned by siblings Daniel and Chantal Cléroux, along with longtime employee Christian Roy. It was opened back in 1959 by the Cléroux’s father and uncle and has been serving the community ever since.
That’s why Daniel Cléroux says it was so hard for them to admit that it’s time to retire.
“It’s a decision hard to take – it takes lots of courage to just stop the business,” said Cléroux. “But we have very good employees who are about to retire and at the age that I am now, it’s challenging to put back a new crew.”
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News of the closing spread quickly, and longtime clients have been rushing to the store to share their disappointment.
“I live down the street,” said Brenda Mader, who has been shopping at the store for 43 years. “All my plants are from here in my garden and I love my garden. And they’re so helpful – anytime we have issues with bugs or anything, I come and I get help. It’s gonna leave a big, big void in the community.”
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“Every year I come here, not only once but maybe seven or eight times during the course of the summer,” said Peter Cigos, a 25-year client. “I talk to the owners, and some of the staff too. They’re very enjoyable.”
The store has 18 full-time employees and at least two dozen casuals.
Cléroux says it’s truly like one big family here, and that’s what he’ll hold onto the most.
“What ill miss the most is just working with the staff,” he said tearfully.
But it’s not all sad news.
Cléroux says he’s received numerous offers for the land but is only entertaining one serious offer at the moment.
He says negotiations are underway with someone to buy the entire business, and they would keep the name.
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