Proud con­nec­tion to Rod­dick­ton-Bide Arm


ROD­DICK­TON-BIDE ARM, N.L. – Jim and Bar­bara Randell of Rod­dick­ton-Bide Arm were busi­ness own­ers for al­most four decades.

The Ran­dells bought Frank Randell and Sons in Bide Arm in Au­gust 1977 and re­named the busi­ness James Randell and Sons.

For the first five years, Jim con­tin­ued with his teach­ing ca­reer while Bar­bara worked in the store full-time.

Jim then left teach­ing to de­vote his time to the busi­ness. Do­ing so meant his wife could cut back to part-time hours.

Jim worked in the busi­ness full-time un­til it was sold in May 2016.

The gen­eral store stocked gro­ceries, a bit of hard­ware and a small amount of build­ing sup­plies. Jim pur­chased more prop­erty to ex­pand his com­pany – grow­ing his busi­ness from one struc­ture to four build­ings.

“When I bought it, it had one build­ing. I added to that and then I built a big shed for build­ing sup­plies. I ac­quired another build­ing across the road (which used to be the old two-room school). I ex­panded on that and then, on the same side as the main build­ing, was another build­ing and I bought that, too,” Jim said.

The Ran­dells wit­nessed many changes in how busi­nesses were run over the years.

“When we started out there was no In­ter­act. No credit cards, re­ally. We went to the bank ev­ery week with our de­posits,” Jim said.

“We had the old type weigh scales... and you would weigh things in pounds. You had to take a pen and paper then and com­pute the cost to what it was per ounce. It was a lot of us­ing your brain back then,” the friendly se­nior chuck­led.

It wasn’t long be­fore things changed, Jim said. The met­ric sys­tem came into ef­fect and dig­i­tal scales be­came pop­u­lar.

The in­tro­duc­tion of In­terac Di­rect Pay­ment for pur­chas­ing goods and ser­vices also made a big dif­fer­ence in how busi­ness was con­ducted, Jim said.

In ad­di­tion to their store in Bide Arm, the Ran­dells also had a store in Rod­dick­ton for 17 years.

“We ex­tended on the busi­ness in Rod­dick­ton, too, with a big ware­house,” Bar­bara re­called.

Be­ing busi­ness own­ers meant long hours and lit­tle time off. How­ever, the cou­ple said, peo­ple in Bide Arm and sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ties al­ways sup­ported them.

Giv­ing back

Jim and Bar­bara en­joyed giv­ing back to the com­mu­nity – to the peo­ple who were there for their fam­ily through the decades.

Jim served as the Town of Bide Arm’s mayor for eight years and also vol­un­teered on the Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee.

Both Jim and Bar­bara were also quick to come on­board with any fundrais­ing that took place.

Bar­bara said Bide Arm is a great place to raise a fam­ily.

She en­joyed work­ing in the fam­ily busi­ness, she said, in both Bide Arm and Rod­dick­ton.

Jim will mark his 71st birth­day Aug. 27. Barb is 69.

The Ran­dells have four chil­dren, all of whom are liv­ing in this prov­ince.

Hil­lary Randell de­scribes her grand­par­ents as hard work­ing peo­ple with a great work ethic.

“On top of that, they are the kind of peo­ple who would lend a help­ing hand to any­one, give to any­one who is in need and have plenty of love and kind­ness to share,” she said.

Her grand­par­ents are a true ex­am­ple of how you should treat peo­ple, she said, and how re­spect and un­der­stand­ing should be shared with every­one.

Hil­lary said it’s those spe­cial qual­i­ties that have earned her grand­par­ents so much re­spect in the com­mu­nity and made them such suc­cess­ful busi­ness own­ers over the years.

“I ad­mire them for that,” she said.

More time

Since sell­ing the busi­ness two years ago, Jim has more time for the things he loves.

“I do a lit­tle bit of boat­ing, hunt­ing and fish­ing. Win­ter­time it’s ski-doo­ing. I like go­ing in the woods and cut­ting a bit of fire­wood.”

While he’s en­joy­ing his re­tire­ment, Jim said, he still misses the busi­ness.

“I miss get­ting up in the morn­ing and hav­ing a place to go. I miss deal­ing with the pub­lic, the cus­tomers and all that goes with that” he said.

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