Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue store proud of 116-year history
Published Saturday, September 3, 2016 6:57PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, September 5, 2016 5:14PM EDT
A Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue general store has clothes, kitchenware and 116 years of proud history on display.
G. D’Aoust and Company is named after Guisolphe D’Aoust, its founder and the grandfather of current proprietor Philippe D’Aoust. It was during the younger D’Aoust’s reign that the decision was made to open an in-store museum, one that features relics from the business’ early days.
The idea to organize the museum came after marketing manager Christine Tellier ventured into the store’s basement.
“I was very curious because the store looked grand and I thought if I went into the basement I would find treasures,” she said.
What she found was an abundance of family history.
“Guisolphe D’Aoust, the founder, used to travel the world,” she said. “He went around the world three times and he used to bring back silk from China and cotton from Egypt and spices from India and perfumes.”
The remnants of Guisolphe’s system can still be found in the museum, from the gear used to equip horses to transport goods from the port to an old store ledger that recorded inventory and customer credit.
Systems like the old conveyor belt used to send payments from one end of the store to the other, with receipts coming back, can be both a way to educate Quebec's youth and inspire nostalgia in their elder relatives, said Philippe D’Aoust.
“Young people, they really don’t know how things were running then,” he said. “For old people, it brings them memories.”