In the early twentieth century, Ludger Lacasse opened a creamery on two parts of lot 21 at 1014-1016 Boulevard Rolland-Cloutier (Highway 329), across from the church in the heart of Lantier. This profession emerged to fill the important role of making and selling butter – a fine example of the local processing and marketing of farm products.
In 1929, Wellie Thouin opened a general store at the same location. Here, villagers could find a wide variety of merchandise ranging from food to consumer goods including household items, clothing for work and everyday life, farm equipment, and lamp oil. The general store was also a focal point of community life, where people could hear the latest news, establish and nurture friendships – even fall in love!
In 1948, this second business was sold to Hormidas Ravary, who had generously donated land to the parish council; Ravary asked the town council to apply for a liquor license from the Quebec Liquor Commission (now the SAQ) so he could open a hotel in Lantier. With the arrival of the telephone, electricity, and the automobile, gas pumps were installed to meet the needs of residents – as well as of seasonal visitors and vacationers.
For half a century, the property changed under the guidance of a series of owners. To meet the population’s needs, it offered the services of a grocery store, a butcher’s shop, and a hardware store. Then social and other changes led to the development of the modern-day convenience store, a kind of miniature general store that remains open for extended hours seven days a week. Over time, the rise of individuali and material success led to the opening of big box stores, supermarkets, and shopping malls. Faced with growing competition from agri-food giants and an increasingly demanding clientele, these stores could no longer meet consumer demand and were forced to close.
In 2002, the property became home to an art dealer and an antique furniture and décor shop offering woodworking services. On May 1, 2013, the municipality of Lantier acquired the property and tore down the buildings. A commercial centre and a public space will be developed in phases with a view to meeting residents’ needs and improving their quality of life.