As of 5 p.m. on November 17, Matériaux De Construction Robidoux will officially be closing its doors for good after 65 years serving clients. This decision was made by the Robidoux family with heavy hearts after reflecting on all that the store has been able to accomplish throughout its time in Cazaville.
The enterprise was a hardware and construction material store that has been in the same family for decades, though once upon a time they actually did construction as well. Gilles Robidoux, president of the business, says, “The age is there,” and that it’s time to close shop – he’ll soon be 73, and both he and his sister are ready to step down. Neither of them have family to take over, so they made the decision to close the store. Robidoux himself has been working in the store for over 54 years, and he says this feels like a huge chapter of his life coming to an end.
The response from the clients has mainly been shock and surprise. When the announcement was made and the “for sale” sign went up, Robidoux explains that some people didn’t believe it, but mostly everyone is just sad to see it go. “There are clients who have been around for 65 years, since the beginning,” Robidoux explains. The store served a specific purpose, and to see it go leaves its customers wanting. “We’re in region where we don’t have a lot of competition … The clients are very disappointed.”
The past few years have posed a few challenges. For one, Robidoux has had some health troubles which have kept him away from work. Plus, since the start of the pandemic, finding employees has proven to be a challenge. “From the beginning of the pandemic it’s been hard to have staff,” he says, explaining that they even cut their Saturday hours because they just didn’t have enough people to work the shifts.
As of now, no one has expressed interest in purchasing the store. That being said, Robidoux says, “I’m sure that someone will have an eye on this and will continue. And I’m also here to help out, give some advice, and refer them to the right places.”
He thanks everyone who has been an employee or client of the business throughout its lifespan. He jokes, “It’s rare that a student in this town hasn’t worked here.” For now, Robidoux doesn’t have any big plans for his retirement other than spending some time with his wife, and maybe working on some old cars.