ESTEVAN - Hugo Lheritier believes his new business, Open Season Outdoor Warehouse in Estevan, is like “a toy store” for the outdoor enthusiast.
The new business, located at the intersection of Fifth Street and Third Avenue in southeast Estevan, is going to open Oct. 8. Customers can find an assortment of products within the 2,720 square-foot facility.
“It’s always been a passion,” Lheritier said in an interview with the Mercury. “I love the outdoors. To me this is like a toy store, so when the opportunity came, we took it and decided to do it.”
Each day people have been stopping by the store, and people have been asking questions non-stop about the different merchandise Open Season will offer.
The business offers supplies for fishing, hunting and archery. For anglers, there will be fishing rods, lures and more. Hunters can find firearms, ammunition, decoys, gun care and optics. Archers can look forward to seeing bows and arrows.
“Everything you need, we’ll hopefully have available,” said Lheritier.
He believes there was a need for a business like Open Season. When it came time to purchase what he needed, he often had to look beyond Estevan’s boundaries.
“Based on the public’s reaction and anticipation, I would say ‘Yeah, we do need it,’” said Lheritier.
Even now, he’ll walk around, look at the stuff inside the store, and get excited about going out fishing and hunting, and having his own business.
The company has six employees, including the partners in the business.
A lifelong angler, his favourite memories growing up came when he was out fishing with his family. He recalls that every summer they would go camping at the lake for a month.
“It’s always been a part of my life, but way more since I’ve moved to the southeast, just because a lot of my friends do it. We have lots of great lakes to go fishing on, and we have great places to go hunting, whether it be from the park south, or anywhere in between. We have deer and moose. There’s elk in the park. It’s just a playground. A perfect place.”
Lheritier’s father was an avid hunter, but Lheritier didn’t start hunting until about 10 years ago when he came to Estevan. Again, his friends helped him find a love for the sport.
“It was easy to get mentored by someone and get going,” he said.
Before opening day, the company needs to get everything uploaded to its website. Open Season has been receiving orders every day, so they’re still entering items into the system. Renovations were a big part of their work.
The building that houses the business used to be home to SaskPower, so it had a number of offices. Lheritier and the others involved had to tear out all of the office space, as well as add in custom cabinets, bring in shelving, replace windows, and complete flooring and painting.
“Now it’s getting all of the little bits and pieces together, and having everything ready so that you can come and grab it on opening day,” said Lheritier.
The store will also have grand opening celebrations on Oct. 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It will feature a ribbon cutting ceremony, snacks, refreshments and giveaways.