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Arcola couple finishes chapter of lives with sale of business

The Laurents owned Arcola Building Supplies since 2005.
Debra and Harry Laurent will begin semi-retirement with the sale of Arcola Building Supplies and hope to spend more time with their grandchildren.

ARCOLA - Harry and Debra Laurent have made Arcola their home for 30 years, and it also became home for their business.

Harry has owned and operated Laurent Construction for many years and is experienced in building commercial and farm shops. He also does custom kitchen cupboards and countertops.

Debra was a registered nurse but retired several years ago, and at the time was the manager of Home Care Services for the Sun Country Health Region.

Before they settled in Arcola, the couple lived in Calgary where Harry spent eight years as a finishing carpenter.

In 1991, they made Arcola home and Harry worked for 12 years in maintenance for the former Souris-Moose Mountain School Division.

In 2005 the opportunity to purchase a lumberyard came up and with the experience that Harry had, they felt this was a fantastic opportunity for them to further Harry’s love of construction.

They purchased the business from John MacDonald and kept the business running, which was located on Main Street in Arcola.

In 2007, they bought land on the north side of Highway 13 across from the Arcola Co-op Gas Bar and began building the store in 2008, which was called Arcola Building Supplies (2005) Ltd.

It was here that the store and lumberyard grew and became the business it is today which is well known throughout southeast Saskatchewan.

An adjoining shop housed Laurent Construction, where Harry does all his fine woodworking and building, which comes in all shapes, sizes and colours.

Debra, although retired from her career was often seen at the store to offer support and to help behind the scenes.

With Harry’s experience, he knew what contractors needed and began to carry a wide range of quality lumber. If it was not in the lumberyard, they gladly ordered it in for customers.

Doors and windows were also carried at the store, but custom orders for contractors were a big part of the quality of customer service.

Everything needed to build a house, barn, shop or fence was also available, and if they did not carry it, it was brought in quickly.

Often Harry was seen doing lumber take offs for customers or supplying special-order windows.

Nearly 20 years after the business started, the couple has sold the lumberyard.

Harry will stay on for a while to help with the changeover and will also keep his shop for another year.

Harry and Debra are excited about the next step in their lives but have mixed emotions on the sale.

“We have met a lot of great people over the years, and it will be different not seeing them on a daily basis,” they said.

Always being involved in the community, they often offered discounts for projects in town or helped with equipment, and they plan to continue with those efforts and be volunteers, as they have been so many times before.

Presently they are donating work in the Arcola Prairie Place Complex by doing a makeover in the kitchen. They also helped a lot with the large rodeo building last year. This building has a trussed roof with tarps that can be closed due to weather. It holds the rodeo dance and beer gardens.

It is now time for them to step back a bit and enjoy more time with their children and grandchildren, and go to their cottage up north and relax.