At it’s height “Sam the Record Man” had 140 store fronts across the country.
The business was originally launched in 1937 by Sam Sniderman in Toronto, but over the years the national chain failed to keep up with increased competition and technological change.
Now only one Sam the Record Man exists… it’s in Belleville and the local owner is pushing to have that recognized.
Darryn Davis has more…
It’s another day on the job for Spencer Destun, filling out an overseas order for records.
Just another revenue source Destun has been able to tap into and credits with his ability to stay in business and keep the “Sam the Record Man” name alive.
“You look for ways to use new revenue streams in your business, you look for ways to hire people that bring different talents to your business, and you look for different ways of marketing your business. ”
At it’s height the “Sam the Record Man” business was a Canadian industry leader something Dusten thinks deserves recognition.
Destun opened his first Sam’s store in 1979 and has a petition going to get the ministry of tourism, culture and sport to recognize the last store as a tourism attraction.
That would allow him to have a sign on the 401.
Dusten’s first attempt to get recognition was denied by the ministry.
“I think we can make a good case that we will bring as much enjoyment and satisfaction to people that visit our store as they would get from filling up with gas. ”
“Whether the petition will sway the attitudes of the minister of tourism, culture and sport remains to be seen but in the few days that the petition has been running Destun says he’s been thrilled with the response ”
In only a few days Destun already has close to 1000 signatures.
Support Destun and his staff have earned.
“The service is great. I just ask and they point me in the right direction I don’t have to spend an hour looking. ”
“It is deserving of recognition, to be a tourist and all that stuff because it needs more… the more people we can get in here the more we can keep it going.”
“I used to go to Toronto when Sam’s was in Toronto, the big store, and it’s the only one left and I think it should be recognized because it’s been around for a long time.”
Destun says he hasn’t decided just how long he’ll keep the petition going before he gets the local M.P.P. to present it to the minister.
“I plan on living about another 20 years so that petition’s got 20 years of life… I ain’t quitting.”
And it may be that gritty determination is the reason that Dusten has been able to keep “Sam the Record Man” still operating and not just a foot note in Canadian business history.
Darryn Davis CKWS News Belleville.