CORNING - Richard and Jackie Pope, owners of The Glass Menagerie on East Market Street, find it a bit emotional closing their business after 42 years of service.
"It's like giving up one of our children in a sense," said Richard Pope, as the final days of the shop being open get closer by the minute. "I never expected that. But we are ready to move on."
The store, which offers metalworking, woodcarving and glass art, will close its doors for good sometime shortly after Labor Day.
"We have a lot of things that are on sale still here at the store," Richard Pope said. "A lot of the things left are 90 percent off. The people that have visited the store have been wonderful and we are excited to see even more people stop by to our retirement closing sale."
Richard and Jackie Pope’s daughter, Melissa Fox, recently drove up from Virginia to help her parents through the retirement sale.
"She has been fantastic," Richard Pope said of his daughter.
"My parents have devoted their entire lives to this shop and the amazing Corning community that surrounds it," Melissa Fox said. "Our family will be forever indebted, it was a great run in a marvelous town."
Richard Pope said the building, at 37 East Market St., is expected to be purchased in the next couple of weeks by a group that plans to use the site as a gallery type business.
"The deal isn’t finalized," Richard Pope said. "But we feel pretty optimistic. I can’t divulge what the exact purpose of the building will be, but it will be a credit to the street."
Richard Pope said shortly after Christmas of last year he and his wife decided it was time to retire. In January, the building was expected to be purchased but the deal did not go through due to a change of plans by the purchaser.
"We started getting ready for this retirement sale last week," said Richard Pope. "We've been putting in a lot of hours. We are looking forward to retirement."