Louise Arsenault (right), of Louise and Company, chats with Cathy Sheppard, of Sheppard & Associates, at her retirement celebration, at Geraldine’s Gallery.

By Ken Mews

Louise Arsenault, of Louise & Company, much more than a celebration store, is retiring and the store will be closing October 22. Louise was honoured last Thursday by a reception celebrating her decade as a prominent and well-loved member of the local business community by her friends of the North Grenville Business Builders (NGBB).

Louise did not start in business with balloons and streamers, but with breastfeeding supplies and pumps, which she sold from her own home in Winchester. Her interest in childcare came naturally as a former public health nurse who had raised five children, including a set of twins.

In 2000, after her children had all passed through Grade 4, she bought a bulk food store in Winchester, which also sold helium balloons. Ten years ago she moved her business to Kemptville, to the brand new Creekside Mall, when a store selling balloons in town closed. To balloons, it was logical to add other party supplies and, eventually, quality toys and baby shoes. She joined NGBB less than three months after her store opened and her reputation and friendly approach have been winning her friends, customers and supportive business associates ever since. A theme of bringing joy to children and making mothers’ lives a bit easier seems to run through her career.

Her plans for the future include more rest and travel (perhaps to the Iles de la Madeleine), although she plans to continue devoting her energy to providing advice and help to nursing mothers as a longstanding volunteer with the Winchester branch of the La Leche League of Canada. She even hopes to offer the skills she has developed over the years to help relieve some of the pressure on the overworked staff of the Winchester Hospital.

Louise has always said that she has only sold products she believes in, so she is happy that To Be Continued will be carrying the Melissa & Doug well-made wooden toys that she introduced to North Grenville and TLC Medical Supply will provide a continuing source for Medela breast pumps.

We wish Louise continued health and happiness in her retirement.

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