The signs say open for now, but Ma and Pa's Memory Lane in Hope is due to close for good at the end of May. (Eric J. Welsh/ Hope Standard)

Ma and Pa’s Memory Lane in Hope closing for good in May

A search for a new location has come up empty and the store is slowly being cleared out

The owners of Ma and Pa’s Memory Lane say they’ve exhausted all options for finding a new home, and the store will be closing at the end of May.

Brad (Pa), who runs the vintage store with wife Maureen (Ma), said they would like to stay open, but the numbers don’t make sense. They can’t stay where they are because the building’s owner has plans to work on the space and then up the rent beyond what they can manage.

They have looked around and found nowhere else to go.

“It’s been frustrating because there are places that are vacant and available, but the price is way to high, which seems to be the story everywhere in Hope,” Brad said. “It’s not practical or reasonable to pay $60,000 to $70,000 a year just for rent, and then have to pay the utilities and everything else on top of that.

“It defeats our purpose when we’re not taking anything from this store.”

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Brad and Maureen moved to Hope in 2016 and took over Ma and Pa’s in 2020. Beyond covering overhead like rent and utilities, they decided to volunteer their time and funnel the store’s profits back into the community. In 2021 that came in the form of a donation to Fraser Canyon Hospital and two scholarships at Hope secondary school, adding up to $22,000.

“At that point the community realized we were serious about what we were doing, and from that point on the donations we were getting was no longer people’s unwanted garbage,” Brad said. “We were getting good stuff because people knew it was their way of contributing to the community. By donating to us, they knew we could sell it cheap and help somebody else in the community.

“Our goal was to put a good 10 to 15 years into this and then turn it over to some type of association that would keep it going as a community-based store.”

Brad said it’s regrettable that that will have to end, although he said they will be making one final donation with whatever is left after they close the doors and cover their expenses.

“When people ask how I’m feeling about it, I tell them I’m truly disappointed,” he said. “Is it going to have a detrimental impact on my life? Absolutely not. It’s going to open the door to free time and allow me to do a number of different things. But it takes away that opportunity we have of giving back. There are people who depend on the store and they’ll have nowhere to go now.”

There’s still the possibility of a last-second save, but Brad said it would have to come quick. The process of clearing out the building has already begun, with half-off sales now and more to come.

“There’s a lot of stuff,” he acknowledged. “It’s going slow, but it’ll go. We’ll have bigger sales as time goes on and possibly an auction near the end. Anything that’s left after that will go to the landfill.”

On the day the doors do close for good, Brad said it’ll be a sad feeling, but life will go on.

“Is it going to be sad? Yeah, but we’ve made some good friendships that will continue on after this place is closed,” he said. “We’ll give back where and how we can, but it’ll be different.”


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