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Grainger’s Cleaners at 885 Lansdowne St. W. will close Feb. 3, after 65 years of service in Peterborough, as the two co-owners prepare for retirement.
Originally established by Clair Grainger in 1958 in the same location — originally it was outside the outskirts of the city but the city eventually built up around the business — the family business has seen three generations behind its counter. Siblings Karen Caddigan and Rick Grainger started working for their father as teenagers before taking over the cleaners in 1982.
“All of our kids, my son and daughter, and his two girls have also worked in the business,” she said. “They all worked here throughout high school, and some of them into college.”
Caddigan explained they’ve been looking to sell the cleaners for over a year, but only received confirmation of the building’s sale earlier this month after the business, located in a plaza next to Chapter’s bookstore and an LCBO outlet, was listed for sale.
“We just found out that we got the sale, and wanted to let our customers know,” Caddigan said.
The pair look forward to retirement, with plans to focus on their hobbies and families, noted Caddigan.
“I’ve done theatre, sang with the Peterborough Singers, and volunteered with Five Counties (Children’s Centre) for about 25 years. So, I’ll probably look for other volunteer opportunities, spend time with my kids, and travel a bit,” she said. “And my brother looks forward to spending time with his five grandchildren.”
Dealing with a three-year pandemic really put things in perspective, Caddigan said, and showed us what is most important.
“There comes a time when you just want to have some fun,” she said. “When you run your own business, people think that you can set your hours and all that kind of stuff, but you really can’t. I think COVID put it all into perspective, that there are other things in life besides working.”
The closing of Grainger’s Cleaners is bittersweet, said Caddigan, since many of their customers have become more like friends as the city has expanded around the business.
“We really appreciate the people who have supported us for multiple generations,” she said.
Equipment is set to be disassembled and moved by next Friday, though the store will remain open until Feb. 24 for customers to pick up their belongings.
“We have to get in touch with every customer individually, to make sure they can get their stuff,” she said.
Grainger’s Cleaners thanks the Peterborough community for their years of patronage, explained Caddigan, but all good things must eventually come to an end.
“Nothing stays the same, and you just have to make decisions that are best for you and your family,” she said.
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