PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — After greater than 15 years in enterprise, Ben LeBlanc is closing up store on Ben’s Buying and selling Submit, a retailer that had change into the world go-to place for looking and outside lovers.
An increasing medical marijuana enterprise from Caribou has bought the constructing.
LeBlanc introduced a going-out-of-business sale Saturday and shut the doorways completely that afternoon. Till then, Ben’s Buying and selling Submit was the one retailer within the Presque Isle space to promote outside leisure clothes, footwear, looking rifles and ammunition in the identical location.
The closure marks the most recent in a rising checklist of longtime companies which can be closing their doorways, citing on-line procuring and difficulties with getting stock in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Simply final week, Houlton’s final furnishings retailer, Furnishings and Flooring North, introduced that it could shut for comparable causes.
The constructing at 719 Predominant St. has been offered to Richardson Leases, LLC, which owns and operates Richardson Treatments, a medical marijuana retailer in Caribou, LeBlanc mentioned.
Richardson Treatments is looking for approval for a medical marijuana license from the Presque Isle Metropolis Council, which can vote on the matter throughout its Sept. 29 assembly. If authorized, the corporate will open its second retailer within the former Buying and selling Submit location. The corporate had beforehand been authorized for a medical marijuana license for 745 Predominant St., which presently homes the Oriental Pearl restaurant.
LeBlanc mentioned that a number of elements, together with on-line procuring and COVID-19-related stock shortages, performed a task in his determination to promote the shop. He doesn’t have plans to relocate, although he mentioned that continues to be a chance.
“There was a requirement for all the things, not simply firearms,” LeBlanc mentioned. “Between ammunition and weapons, clothes and footwear, we simply couldn’t get sufficient of the merchandise we wanted and needed. As soon as we couldn’t get sufficient stock, we didn’t have to have as many workers.”
Previous to opening Ben’s Buying and selling Submit, LeBlanc labored for Roy’s Military & Navy, a sporting items retailer owned by the late Dana Packard. When that retailer closed, LeBlanc bought the enterprise, renamed it Ben’s Buying and selling Submit and relocated to the nook of Chapman Road and Riverside Drive.
Over time, LeBlanc’s Predominant Road location had change into a favourite spot for looking lovers. LeBlanc mentioned that his favourite recollections got here from serving to folks discover precisely the appropriate gear for his or her outside adventures.
“I’m going to overlook the youngsters that got here in to get their first firearm or looking boots or to have their first animal tagged on our scales,” LeBlanc mentioned. “There have been plenty of good recollections. We even had an worker get married within the retailer proper after we opened.”
Although Presque Isle space prospects remained supportive lately, LeBlanc famous that on-line procuring choices made purchases extra handy for individuals who lived in additional distant areas of Aroostook.
He urged folks to proceed supporting regionally owned companies, particularly because the pandemic and on-line procuring proceed to make working such companies a problem.
“For companies making an attempt to remain open, what it comes right down to is the folks of Aroostook County,” LeBlanc mentioned. “They may determine who shall be right here [in the future].”