The Godin family believe in the Chaleur Region
Since Roger and Edwina Godin opened their first business back in 1971, they’ve had a goal of providing top quality service to their friends and neighbours throughout Northeastern New Brunswick.
It’s a mindset they’ve passed along to their three sons; Michel, Paul and Jacques. And something those sons have passed along to their children as well.
“This is our home,” said Michel, the oldest son. “Mom and dad brought us up to believe in this region, and with good reason. The people here are amazing and it is so beautiful. Whether you like to snowmobile in the winter, head out on the water in the summer, go to the beach, or take a walk around the three bridges, there is something for everyone.”
That mindset hasn’t changed over the last 50 years – even through a global pandemic.
“Even when we were forced to close our doors to the public last spring, due to the Pandemic, we kept a few employees working every day to take phone calls and help those who needed our services,” said Michel. “Pandemic or not, if your refrigerator breaks down you’ve got to be able to turn to someone for help and we made sure we were there when they needed us.”
Originally known as House of Fixtures, the family eventually turned their attention from light fixtures to furniture, appliances and electronics.
House of Furniture eventually became Home Furniture before ultimately teaming up with the largest furniture chain in the country and is now the third largest Leon’s store in all of Canada.
"Becoming a franchise store for Leon's was a game changer for us," said Michel. "Not only did it allow us to offer the Leon's shopping experience to customers in Northern New Brunswick, but it also gave us access to their large selection of products. Plus the buying power that Leon's has allows us to offer furniture, appliances and electronics at prices we wouldn't be able to offer otherwise.
"Being a franchise store also keeps the store local, so we can continue to give back to the community we are a part of," said Paul. "That way we get the advantage of being local, and having the power of Leon's behind us."
Over the last year, despite the ongoing Pandemic, the Godin family has affirmed their commitment to the Chaleur Region by growing their business, hiring new staff members and bringing not one but two iconic buildings to life.
That started with opening a new store on St. Peter Avenue, nearly doubling their showroom space.
“The Legion needed to sell their building and we were looking to expand,” explained Paul, whose daughter Veronick is managing the new store.
“We are happy that we were able to find a way to keep a building that has been so important to the region open.
“It was very important to us to retain the history of the building as well.”
As you walk into the doors of the new Leon’s location at 575 St. Peter Avenue you’ll find a display that honours the Legion and the man it was named for, Herman J. Good V.C. In addition to buying the building, the Godin family made a long-term commitment to support the Legion in return for the use of the artifacts on display.
“We love the way it turned out,” said Paul, in the centre of the above photo along with members of the Legion; descendants of Herman J. Good VC; his parents Roger and Edwina Godin; and brothers Jacques and Michel.
“The store looks great and the character of the Legion is still there.”
Next, more room was needed for storage.
To tackle that problem, the Godin family once again brought a building back to life, this time the one-time home of SMI Industries in the Industrial Park, giving them over 100,000 square feet of warehouse space.
The Godin family wasn’t finished there either.
The latest addition to their family of companies is Godin Appliance Repair.
“People were having a hard time finding someone to fix their appliances,” said Jacques, who runs Godin Electric. “So we hired staff and had them professionally trained. Now they are certified to work on most major brands of appliances.”
Godin Appliance Repair offers in-home appliance repair, which includes parts and labour, and has technicians who are certified to work on Samsung, LG, Frigidaire, Bosch and other major brands of appliances.
“We saw a need and we filled it,” said Jacques. “Now, when people need appliance repair they don’t have to worry about finding someone to help.”
Fast-forward 50 years and that small company that Roger and Edwina Godin first started, now has over 80 employees, two warehouses (1763 Miramichi Avenue and 1935 Hall Court), a fleet of 6 delivery trucks, along with Godin Electric and Godin Appliance Repair.
And with the third generation of the Godin family committed to carrying on the business their grandparents started half a century ago, that belief in the Chaleur Region will only continue to grow.