JoAnne Sharpley said customers are sad and disbelieving as she prepares to close the shop for good.
JoAnne Sharpley’s Source for Sports is closing after 29 years. With no buyer coming forward, Sharpley is working to sell off remaining stock before retiring, targeting Nov. 1 as an end date.
Sharpley said when long-time employees left two years ago, it felt like the right time to call it a career.
“I was tired, and I wanted to spend more time with my grandchildren,” Sharpley said. “That’s when it went on the market.”
Sharpley said she and ex-partner, former NHLer Glen Sharpley, bought an existing sporting goods store in 1991. They moved it around downtown Haliburton over the years, going from a 600-square-foot space to 6,000-square-foot today.
“We just grew it and grew it,” Sharpley said. “We offered always really great customer service. Our selection was always amazing … It was like a city store in a little, little town.”
The Haliburton Village BIA presented flowers to Sharpley Sept. 1 to recognize her forthcoming retirement. President Luke Schell said the store filled an important niche in the community, supplying hockey players.
“We’ve always been quite well-known as a hockey town,” Schell said. “Might quite possibly have been the top supporter of hockey in Haliburton. I think when it comes to the people who are going to miss the business, it’s going to be minor hockey.”
“You can buy clothes online, but you can’t buy a pair of hockey skates online,” assistant manager Cindy-Jo Nesbitt said. “It’s a terrible loss for Haliburton.”
Sharpley has tried to sell the store for two years but has only received two offers, neither of which has worked out. She added she does not know why there is not more interest.
“I wish I could answer that question,” Sharpley said. “Everybody wonders the same thing.”
The life of the store is winding down and though November 1 is the target, Sharpley said it may stay partially open past that to clear inventory.
“I still have that little glimpse of hope that somebody’s going to say ‘this can’t happen’,” Sharpley said. “We still hope there’s a buyer out there.”
Schell said Sharpley has made a huge contribution to the community over the years.
“All the members of the BIA certainly wish her the best in the future. It’s a sad farewell but we want to part showing our appreciation, not our regret,” Schell said.
Sharpley said she has made many great relationships through the store and is appreciative of all the support she has received.
“Thank you for 30 really great years,” Sharpley said. “To all the people that I’ve met that care for me.”