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(Updated 11:30 a.m., April 26)
Cheddar Et Cetera closing its doors for good this weekend

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

The St. Albert Cheese outlet store, Cheddar Et Cetera, will be closing its doors for good on May 1. File photo

The Cheddar Et Cetera cow is finally coming down, but not because of a city bylaw.

Slumping sales has convinced the store’s owner, St. Albert Cheese, to take a pass on renewing their lease in the Crowne Pointe Plaza at Trim and Watters Roads. That means that as of May 1, cheese lovers will no longer be able to buy their favourite fromage at the specialty store.

According a press release issued by St. Albert, the decision to close the store was based on the availability of their products at larger retail stores and the fact that the store’s lease was up for renewal.

The store’s closure will put two full-time and six part-time employees out of work. Some of them will be offered jobs at the St. Albert’s flagship store, in St. Albert.

Cheddar Et Cetera gained notoriety in 2010 when the city ordered the store to take down the lifesize plastic cow that adorns its roof, or face a hefty fine.

When the store’s owners respectfully declined, it touched off a petition campaign that gathered over 9,000 signatures and persuaded the city to undertake a review of the city’s permanent sign bylaw.

In the end, the city granted Cheddar Et Cetera a four-year waiver and eventually allowed them to keep the cow permanently.

That was last July. At the time nobody thought “permanently” would only last 10 months.

Jacques Leury has managed the store since it first opened in 2006, and he started the petition to keep the cow on the roof, and although he can’t comment on the reasons behind the store’s closing, he did want to thank the many customers and especially the regulars who kept coming back.

“We had a lot of loyal customers and we had some interesting times. I’m definitely going to have fond memories of this place,” said Leury.

One of the store’s biggest supporters was Orléans Ward Coun. Bob Monette, who was also a regular customer.

“It’s a real shame. The store had become a trademark in the community and a link to our agriculture roots,” Monette said in commenting on the announced closure. “The staff was always very friendly and welcoming. It’s going to be a huge loss for Orléans."

Customers will have chance to shop at Cheddar Et Cetera this Saturday. As for the cow, it will be given a new home in St. Albert.

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

 

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