Another long-term downtown Kamloops business closing | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Another long-term downtown Kamloops business closing

Kamloops business owner Sandra Farough poses for a photo. She is closing Genesis Beauty and Boutique in downtown Kamloops, June 28, 2022.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Sandra Farough

A much-loved business in downtown Kamloops is closing its doors after 35 years of providing service to the community.

The owner of Genesis Beauty & Boutique, Sandra Farough, is saddened she will have to close on June 28.

Several factors forced Farough to close her doors including COVID, crime and staffing shortages — despite her extensive education and experience in the business field. She is committed to following through to keep her employees and clients taken care of going forward. 

READ MORE: $1 million cost of social issues underestimated in Kamloops business survey

Well-known community member Anna Caputo owned the business for 32 years until Farough took over three years ago.

“I was really excited when I took over the store in March 2019,” Farough said. “I knew Anna and her sister well. I had great plans for it and started to change the look of it. And then COVID hit and we had to shut down.”

When the salon was allowed to open again, Farough said the clients returned and continued to come for hair and spa services. Crime in the downtown area began to increase shortly after.

“The downtown changed,” she said. “There were a lot more homeless people and a lot more crime. We had our front windows smashed one night.”

During the pandemic. people’s shopping habits changed, putting further stress on the salon and spa.

“A lot of people got used to shopping online so the front end of the store didn’t work out as well as it could have,” Farough said. “This is a big building, it takes a lot of revenue to keep it running and maintain with two full-time employees working.”

The final challenge was the staffing shortage many businesses in the province are currently struggling with.

READ MORE: Staffing shortages, COVID-19 lead to postponement of B.C. provincial exams

“I tried a few prospective employees out but it wasn’t the right fit,” she said. “Finding staff became difficult. I think people took COVID as an opportunity to work from home. We have a lot of people in the beauty industry running home-based businesses now so it is harder to get stylists and estheticians.”

There will be a soft closing of the salon on June 28.

“Kelly the hair stylist is going to work at another salon,” Farough said. “Joanna is an experienced esthetician. We will contact their clients and let them know where they are going.

“A huge thank you to the clients who have supported the business, I couldn’t ask for better clients. We are all very sad. I want to stress how great the employees are.”

Farough is not the only downtown business owner making this tough decision this year.

Harry Passek, owner of Passek Classics Restaurant and Bakery, is closing on June 30 after running the restaurant with his wife Susan for 14 years.

He said a combination of post-COVID factors led them to shutter the downtown restaurant, including a lack of staff and a lack of patronage now that public health restrictions have been removed.

READ MORE: Kamloops restaurant cites lack of staff, reliance on delivery apps for closure

In March, the downtown McDonald's location in Kamloops shut its doors after dealing with increasing social issues and declining foot traffic.

Owner-operator of the Kamloops and Merritt McDonald's franchises, Brandy Gozda-Sekhon, said the combination of a decline in foot traffic and what appears to be a worsening situation for social issues in Kamloops, both exaggerated by COVID, led her to shut down.

"This isn't an isolated issue. This isn't something that came up overnight," Gozda-Sekhon said in a previous interview with iNFOnews. "There's hundreds of businesses in town that need help as well. We all want Kamloops to be a great place."

READ MORE: Decision to close McDonald's in downtown Kamloops two years in the making 

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Ainslie or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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