LENOX – When Larry Lane first got involved in the arcadian shop in the 1970s, the business consisted mostly of small entrepreneurs who loved the outdoors.
The outdoor recreation industry has consolidated since then as larger companies have entered the scene. But, the Arcadian Shop, an outdoor specialty store on Pittsfield Road, has been able to adapt to these changes.
Now it’s time for someone else to lead the shop into the future.
Lane, who has been the sole owner of the Arcadian Shop since 1982, recently sold the business to three longtime employees, Chris Calvert, Keith Dupuis and Jeff Minkler. The three Berkshire County natives worked at the Arcadian Shop for at least 25 years, according to Dupuis.
The new owner entity, Arcadian Shop Inc., signed a five-year lease with a five-year option with Lane’s limited liability company, XC Yellow Lab LLC, which owns the Arcadian Shop building at 91 Pittsfield Road, according to documents filed at the Berkshire Central Deeds Registry.
The Arcadian Shop building was built in 1791, according to Lane. He had purchased it in 1995, for $498,000, from relatives of late Lenox businesswoman Lida Spofford, who had restored the old structure while running a women’s clothing boutique on the property.
The Arcadian Shop, which opened in Lenox in 1974, has been in its current location since 1996. Lane came on board in 1976, bought the business in 1978, and became the sole owner four years later.
“I just wanted things to continue as they were,” Lane said of selling the Arcadian Shop to his former employees. “I’m really happy for them. I’m glad we were able to sort this out.”
Dupuis called the band’s decision to buy the Arcadian Shop “just a bit natural”.
“We’re all pretty familiar with the business,” he said. “We’ve all had a role in buying or marketing, and it felt like the right thing to do.
“It’s like a family purchase, almost,” Dupuis said. “We’ve known Larry for most of our adult lives, some of us all of our adult lives.”
Dupuis said the Arcadian Shop would remain an outdoor specialty store and the three partners could make some “little changes” that fit their styles a bit more. The Arcadian Shop has 14 employees, Dupuis said, and the new owners could add a few more.
“We don’t intend to make big changes,” Dupuis said. “We do similar things to the way he does things, so I imagine things will play out much the same way.”
Calvert, who leads the new ownership group, thanked Lane for his involvement in the community, which includes Arcadian Shop’s sponsorship of several sporting events and his long-term relationship with the annual Josh Billings RunAground Triathlon.
According to Lane, the Arcadian Shop was founded in 1974 by John Fernsall and Gordon Hinds of Connecticut. It was originally located on Church Street in Lenox, in the space currently occupied by Purple Plume. The business moved to Williamstown in 1978, then moved back to Lenox in 1981, in what is now known as Lenox Commons on Pittsfield Road, until 1995.
“We took it from a very small company and made it what it is today,” Lane said. “That was our goal [to open an outdoor specialty shop]. We were part of the entrepreneurial spirit of the 70s. We were like the industry back then: people who loved the outdoors and tried to make a living in the industry.
“It was about time,” Lane said, referring to his decision to sell. “I love it. My heart and soul are there. That’s why I wanted to keep it in the Arcadian Shop family. They [the new owners] understand this business and be as committed to it as I am and always will be. »
Lane, who lives in Lenox and is originally from Pittsfield, plans to pursue other interests outside of the store.
“Believe me, I’m not a one-dimensional person,” he said. “I have a lot of interests and plan to do them all.”