Dave and Ada are thankful for the support they have received over the years from family, friends, customers and staff. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Since 1977, Dave Taron owner of The Place has been the go-to guy on the West Coast for furniture, appliances and electronics.
Unfortunately for the community, as of Aug. 1, 2020, West Coasters will have to find another place to get these goods.
Soon after re-opening his doors in June after shutting down to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Taron decided it was, in fact, time to retire. He plans to re-locate to Fernie to be with his wife Patricia, their children Tabitha and Nathan, and their grandchildren.
“We’ve had some trying times and some good times. I’m going to miss all the people for sure,” says Taron.
From now until the end of the July, The Place is having a massive blowout sale to clear out his inventory, and by August it’ll all be gone. Taron says he’s too busy at the moment to be torn up about it.
“There are lots of memories for sure,” he says.
Ucluelet’s mayor owner Mayco Noel said as a small business owner himself, he cannot imagine the mix of emotions Taron might be experiencing.
“I just wish Dave and his family the best in his retirement years. We’re going to miss his smile, and the door to the community is always open for his return and visits,” says Noel.
The coronavirus didn’t close his business, Taron notes, but it has been challenging for him as a small business owner to get stock in.
“It’s harder for smaller businesses nowadays. It’s hard to get products in from the manufacturers,” he says. “But I don’t want to get into all of that. It’s just time to retire.”
“There is a shortage of products on the market for sure. It just reinforces the fact that there needs to be more North American originated manufacturing to prevent these problems,” he says.
For as long as he can remember, Taron ran his family business with the steadfast help of his business partner and mother-in-law Ada Dougan
“She was the boss,” says Taron. “People really loved her. She’s an awesome lady and she worked hard.”
“We didn’t fight too much,” adds Dougan, who is 86-years-young.
They both expressed their thanks to all their family, friends, customers and staff for their help and support over the years.
One of the many Ukee Days parades The Place participated in. (Submitted photo)
When Taron first opened his shop in the seventies he said it was actually supposed to be called ‘The Plaza’ since it was originally located at Davison Plaza.
“But my co-owner at the time, his writing wasn’t so clear, so it became ‘The Place’,” Taron recalls.
The longtime furniture salesman offers a tidbit of advice to young entrepreneurs.
“Make it fun and treat your customers with respect. Try and look after them as best you can,” he says.
Local carpenter Ian Shu has been providing custom furniture orders to The Place for over a decade.
“I’m sad to see it close, but I know Dave is looking forward to spending time with his family,” Shu told the Westerly over the telephone.
“Dave’s the guy you could call in a jam. I’ve had some appliance blow up and he’s been there. He’s quick and provides good service. He’s been a pillar of the community in terms of sponsoring youth sports and working on the West Coast Multiplex proposal. He literally is a staple of Ucluelet right down to Ukee Days. He was the guy on the megaphone waking everyone up,” says Shu.
At the end of the day, Patricia simply said it’s going to be great to have him home.
A younger Dave and Patricia Taron kick back on the sofa. (Submitted photo)
Hamburger kids at a past warehouse sale held at the community hall. (Submitted photo)
Dave Taron and former employee Jared Oye rock out. (Submitted photo)