Following more than four decades in Sunderland, Rick Flindall is getting ready for the next chapter in his life.
He’s getting ready to retire after selling Flindall’s Freshmart, with new ownership slated to take over the store on April 15.
His decision to list it for sale after coming to the realization that running the business was becoming “work.”
“It became a job and not a passion. And that was the first time in my life that this was ever a job. Now that I’ve got it sold, it’s been fun again,” he said.
The arrival of his grandchildren “changed his life,” Flindall said, making his decision a little less difficult.
“Family time is important and I’ve been missing out on the everyday things.”
Flindall and his family have run the village’s grocery store – which started as a Lucky Dollar and switched to a Red & White before becoming a Freshmart – since moving there from Georgetown in 1974.
While he came to love life in the village, it certainly wasn’t love at first sight.
“When I first moved here, I thought I had done something wrong. As a 15-year-old, moving to a quiet little community seemed like some sort of punishment,” he said with a laugh.
“But I’m still here 44 years later, happy as hell.”
Initially run by his parents – his father (Glenn) passed away suddenly in 1986 – Flindall officially took ownership of the business upon his mother’s (Kay) retirement in 1997.
“Sunderland is truly great community. I am so happy that our family was a part of it and will cherish the friendships made forever,” Flindall said.
It’s been so great that Flindall said that has a hard time picking out one memory that particularly stands out above others.
“I could write a book. There are so many great memories that I can’t just pick one. And so many people to thank, I couldn’t name them all,” he said.
“It’s been a hoot, plain and simple. It hasn’t all been rosy, the odd turkey might have gotten tossed across the room sometimes, but I have absolutely no regrets. It’s been a blast.”
While he’s got a pile of ideas on how to spend his time in retirement – spending time with his family and home renovations top the list – Flindall said he’s particularly going to miss interacting with his customers.
“The best part of this is the social aspect,” he said, noting that he’s been blessed by a “great” team of employees over the years, as well as support from many of the other business owners in the community.
A customer appreciation event will be held at the store on Friday, April 12 and Saturday, April 13 from noon to 4 p.m. with cake and refreshments.
“I’m so thankful for all the support the community gave us over the years,” he said.