Depanneur Lamarche in Alfred is not closing, but the owners are retiring.

Saturday, November 18 was the last day on the job for Sylvain and Sylvie Lamarche, who had owned the convenience store on Telegraph Road for exactly 40 years beginning on November 17, 1983. In fact, Sylvain had been working at the store since he was 17 years old when his parents Aline and Jacques Lamarche, owned it for two years.

On November 18, the Lamarche’s were showing appreciation to their longtime customers and the Alfred community with sandwiches, cake, and coffee served at the store. As customers stopped in for lottery tickets, newspapers, or snacks, they took time to thank the Lamarche’s for their years of service and wish them well in retirement.

Sylvie said she has seen so many of Alfred’s children, and their parents over the years as they visited the store for candy and drinks.

“A whole generation that we saw grow up,” she said.

The Lamarche’s raised four of their own children while owning and operating the store.

Sylvain said the biggest change he noticed during the past 40 years is how people now pay for bottled water.

“It’s now more expensive than gas,” he said.

Sylvain also commented how video rentals were once a big part of the business, first with videocassette tapes, then DVDs, and now nothing because most movie watchers now use streaming services.

Depanneur Lamarche will not be changing its name and is staying open. The new owner is Mehul Janie of Stittsville, who also owns convenience stores in Limoges and Bourget. Sylvain is not planning to stop working entirely. He is going to work for their son Alexandre’s business, Al’s Lawn Care.

Photos by James Morgan

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