Eastern Ont. RONA store is town’s oldest business

BOUCHERVILLE, Que. — Lowe’s Canada has announced that RONA VeRONA Hardware celebrated its 90th anniversary, making it the oldest business in Verona, Ont. To mark the occasion, owners Nicole and Chad Van Camp invited customers and local dignitaries for a celebratory day this past weekend. Thanks to a fundraising barbecue and raffle, as well as the customers’ generosity, the Van Camps and their team presented more than $450 to Frontenac Minor Hockey Association and $650 to Verona Christmas for Kids. The local hardware shop was founded in 1929 by Steven and Victor Merrill in what is now Nicole’s Gifts, also owned by the Van Camps.

Forty-two years later, entrepreneur Ken Harper convinced Victor Merrill to sell him the store. Harper and his wife Evelyn moved the store to its current location in 1994 and handed over the reins the Van Camps in 2004. “My younger, retail-executive self met Ken Harper in 2001 at a local event. He told me about his retirement plans, and I saw an opportunity that I immediately seized even if, at that time, I did not know how I would make it work,” said Chad Van Camp. “Thanks to our valued customers’ trust and devoted employees’ efforts, we can continue building the store history and serving the local community. We are grateful to have had the opportunity during our anniversary to give back to our customers and our youth.”