By Emily Stonehouse
The Stedmans name will not be leaving the downtown core of Minden any time soon. According to the new owner of the business, Faisal Rasool, while he did intend to originally change the name, after purchasing the business, he realized the importance of the local name to the community. “We are very aware of what the locals want,” said Rasool, “so we are trying our best to give them that.”
Rasool is new to the area, but knew the former owners of Stedmans V&S, John and Robyn Thomas, personally, before the business arrangement was made. So far, Rasool said he is pleasantly surprised by the outpouring of support he has received from the community. “I love the people here,” said Rasool. “Everyone is so friendly, and we want to continue to give them what they want.”
While the Stedmans name will stay the same, Rasool does have big plans for the store itself.
“We will be committing to some major renovations, starting in January,” he said. He believes the renovations will take a few months, and the store will be closed during that time. Yet, once it re-opens, it will be “bigger and better than before,” said Rasool, who is excited about the new layout and products.
Rasool intends to keep much of the same type of product, continuing the theme of a department store, yet will expand the sections where he has noted a lot of interest, such as crafts, wool, household items, and seasonal items. He is also planning on expanding the sections for kids and young adults to include more toys, games, and custom crafts.
The store is currently open leading up to the renovations in the new year.
“Keep an eye out for some upcoming sales,” said Rasool, who intends to sell off 100 per cent of the current product before closing, so it can be a fresh start once the doors reopen after the renovations are complete.
Rasool, who also owns three other stores in different communities, is hoping to permanently relocate to the region in the new year so he can raise his young family in the Minden area. He is currently working with local real estate agents to make this happen. “This community is better than I could have imagined,” he said. “Everyone is so welcoming, and we are excited to be here.”
Stedmans V&S is located at 103 Bobcaygeon Road in Minden, and is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m, Monday to Saturday.