Wessels storefront. Photo Elaina John
Wessels in Mannville just celebrated 52 years of business in June. Owners Horst and Martha Wessel also just celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary.
Horst Wessel moved to Canada from Germany in 1952. In 1962, the Wessels bought a farm, and later, started the store in 1968. The store started out as a department store, and was originally located in what is now the Sunflower Chinese Restaurant. After 10 years of business, the Wessels were able to build the much larger store just down the street.
With Horst at the age of 88 and Martha at 83, the two are looking to retire. The business is “viable and well-priced” according to Martha, who has done books for the business since it opened. Since it’s opening, business at Wessels has flourished, as it has customers from three provinces due to the high quality and specialised workmanship. The Wessels are looking to sell the business with all equipment, as well as stock for an additional cost. Horst Wessel is also willing to help and train a new potential owner in leatherworking and tarp-making.
The Wessels highlight the importance of a business such as theirs. Martha Wessel stated; “This is a much needed service in our area,” and the couple would be more than happy to see the business continue to serve the area rather than simply shutting down.
Wessels only deals with Canadian suppliers, which is why their tarps are top quality. Wessels also makes custom leatherwork for saddles and tack, restorations, and repairs; as well as tarps for boat covers, RV’s, trucks, and more.
“I can beat big businesses in workmanship, quality, and service,” said Horst Wessel.
If interested in the business, one can call the store at 780-783-3789 or Horst’s cell at 587-280-6241.