By Michael Christianson
Another downtown fixture is closing its doors.
Boffo Home and Cottage is currently having a store-closing sale to prepare for the end. Wendy and Dal Phillips are beginning to plan their semi-retirement after over 30 years in retail.
Their journey to Boffo began on the other side of the world in 1972. The young couple with their first child was living in New Zealand when Dal told Wendy he had bought a store, and that’s how it all began.
Despite reservations they did well for themselves selling sheep skin products, eventually opening several stores with their various partners in New Zealand before returning home.
They began selling bags as the Boffo Bag Company in 1996 and would eventually share their current space with Red Eagle. They took over the full space when Ron Durance retired in 2006. Wendy was pleased to be dealing in a wider variety of items and always enjoyed setting up displays in the store.
“This one was more my taste so I had fun doing all the buying and putting things together and the displays and changing every season; it was just more satisfying and I really felt like I was giving something to this town of Dryden,” said Phillips.
The Phillips have been instrumental as part of the downtown business core with other local shop owners to beautify and rejuvenate the area. Perhaps the most obvious addition to the building was the bright yellow colour that still greets those coming in from the underpass.
Wendy says they have many loyal customers who have reached out in recent weeks after learning the news.
“The response has been they’re sad, they understand but they don’t want it to leave, they’ve been really upset that it’s going and where are they going to get really nice gifts now; this has been here a long time,” said Phillips. “When it was Red Eagle it was both sides too and it went for about 20 years before that so to have it close is a big loss for this town, especially for the downtown, it’s a big store.”
The Phillips plan to continue their sewing work as well as continuing to sell some of their favourite items online on their website boffohome.net