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“Heart Wrenching” Opelousas Store Closes Saturday After 141 Years

In the town of Opelousas, there’s a lot of history when it comes to the streets, to the buildings and even the businesses.

JB Sandoz Hardware store is one of those stores with a lot of history that’s been a huge staple in town serving the Opelousas community for 141 years.

Unfortunately, Saturday is its last day of business.

Friday many people were walking into J.B. Sandoz for the very last time.

“I’ve got some warm memories about Sandez I’ve been going here since I was a young man or even a little kid,” said Charles Kessinger, loyal customer.
“That’s when Sanders was alive then and Neil everybody just made you feel so welcome. It was like you’re part of the family and whatever you were looking for if you couldn’t find it at Sandoz you had to leave and go out of town.”

It’s a loss that is being felt by the whole community.

“To see them close the doors it’s going to be sadly missed by everybody,” said Ernest Jones, customer.

This is especially hitting those hard who work there.

“It’s heart-wrenching and it made my heart drop because none of us were waiting for any of this,” said Barbara Pitre. “We knew one day it would come, but we didn’t think at this time maybe, later on, you know.”

After 141 years, this mom and pop store just can’t keep up with the big stores.

“Bigger stores with online shopping yeah things like that,” said Jeannie Richard.

Pitre says this store will leave a hole in the community.

“This is a fifth-generation, family owned business and this is the last of it,” said Pitre. “The legacy is going to end we just have memories of it.”

It’s a change many here in Opelousas say is not for the better.

“Everybody says change is good but some change is not good so it’s mixed feelings you know,” said Kessinger. “I love this place I really do.”

Even though the store is closing its doors for good it’s still giving back to the community. After Saturday the merchandise that is left will be donated to Habitat for humanity to give back to the community.