OPELOUSAS — A fifth generation hardware store will soon be closing for good. J.B Sandoz Inc. first opened their doors in 1878.
There have been three different buildings that served as the J.B. Sandoz Hardware Store. The original store was at the corner of Main Street and Bloch Street. The third and final location is on Main and Littell.
Many will say J.B Sandoz Inc. has become an Opelousas icon.
"I bought a basket here before, a wicker basket, I have never seen one before, and since then I just kept coming back," Karen Evans said.
Evans has been shopping at Sandoz since 1978. She says she discovered the place while just out shopping one day and after one good find, she was hooked.
"I always come here to get anything I need, silverware, pots and pans, and little gadgets I can't seem to find," Evans said.
Barbra Pitre says the store is known to carry everything.
"If you can't find it anywhere, you can find it at Sandoz, and if you can't find it we'll find it for you," Pitre said.
Pitre has been the store manager for the last six years. She was told two weeks ago that the store will close forever. Pitre says she knows this decision is not one the owner wanted to make.
"I asked to make sure if this is what you want to do, and he said, 'yeah...' He looks at me and he says...'No...' But he says 'its just something that's going to have to be done."
She says because of big box stores and online sales, J.B Sandoz Inc. has seen sales steadily decline over the last decade, but they have been holding on.
"It's making it hard for these family owned businesses. We have done our best, for as long as we could."
They don't have an exact date of closure, but whatever day it is, this manager says it's going to be really hard.
"We're sorry, this place has had a big impact on the community and it's just going to be sad."
Pitre added the store has become her second family.
Going out of business sales start Monday.