Pollock's Hardware pays off loan

By: Kellen Taniguchi
Posted: 06/10/2020 5:53 PM | Last Modified: 06/11/2020 11:11 AM 

WFP June11

Pollock’s Hardware Co-op in Winnipeg’s North End can breathe a little easier after paying off its 2008 loan from the Jubilee Fund.

Samantha Leclerc, the hardware store’s general manager, said it’s a big weight lifted off the shoulders of supporters of the independent 97-year-old hardware store.

"Paying off this debt first and foremost feels great," said Leclerc. "It also means we can allocate more money to inventory to ensure we have everything our customers need."

In 2008, the Jubilee Fund, an ethical investment fund launched in 2000 as an expression of the millennium celebration for debt relief, partnered with Assiniboine Credit Union and loaned the store $67,000. Over the years, the Jubilee Fund has given another $50,000 to Pollock’s.

"We’ve faced many challenges, but we always seem to overcome them," said Leclerc. "There’s a charm and nostalgia to this store that can’t be duplicated."

Leclerc said the store still needs support from their members and loyal customers, but they are also working on forming new partnerships with non-profit organizations and independent business to build a strong network connected to the store.

The store has not taken a hit throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and Leclerc said the sense of community with their customers is a big reason why. She also said the store is only allowing four to five people in the store at one time to respect social distancing guidelines and to give the best service possible to their customers.

Leclerc said it’s great to pay off this loan and it will mean a lot to the community too.

"It’s important to have our local hardware store because we provide a service to a community and not the whole city," she said. "Our store exists because of a sense of community and we are really happy to be here serving them."

Jack Slessor is a loyal Pollock’s customer and was an original board member for the store 12 years ago.

"It’s more than a hardware store," said Slessor. "It’s a reflection of the community and the people’s commitment to it. It’s also a meeting place."

Slessor said the hardware store is good for local products, but it’s also convenient for people who live in the area.

"Not everyone has the ability to jump in their car and drive to the big box stores," said Slessor. "I think one of the reasons it’s continued to be supported is that you don’t just go there for hardware, kitchenware or plants – you go there to see people in the community."

Slessor said he buys from the store constantly and is currently staining his fence with product from Pollock’s.

"My motto is, use it or lose it," he said.