Massachusetts retailer closing after more than 8 decades

WINCHENDON, Mass. — Winchendon Furniture here is closing after 84 years of business across three generations of family ownership.

Liquidation will begin Oct. 12, and the showroom building is for sale. The sell-off event features brands such as Stressless, Hancock & Moore, Howard Miller, Hekman, Copeland and Hickory Craft.

Winchendon Furniture is run by Joe Ladeau, Ryan Ladeau and Keith Ladeau, second and third generation owners of the family business. Along with Glenn Hunt, long-time office manager, the Ladeaus have played a crucial role in stewarding Winchendon Furniture’s legacy of high-quality furniture for the home and exemplary service.

“This community has shown our family unwavering support since the day my father opened the doors of his business in 1939. It has been truly rewarding to serve the people of Winchendon and to promote the community’s name throughout New England,” said Joe Ladeau.

Richard Ladeau, Joe’s father, founded the company as Winchendon Custom Upholstery Co, Inc. in 1939. He first developed an interest in furniture while working for his father, George, at a furniture manufacturing company. Richard upholstered dining chairs for local factories and built a reputation for quality reupholstering.

In 1943, Richard bought the building at 13 Railroad St. and expanded his business to include antique restoration. Two years later, his brother Frank returned home from World War II and became his partner in the business, which gradually transitioned from upholstering and antique restoration to selling high-quality brand name furniture lines.

After Richard’s death in 1972, his sons, Joe and Jack, purchased their father’s half of the business from Frank. Six years later, they purchased Frank’s half, and in 1980 changed the name of the company to Winchendon Furniture. Together, the brothers expanded the business to stores in Amherst and Keene, N.H. The Amherst and Keene stores have previously closed.

Drawing on Winchendon’s natural resources and history of skilled craftsmanship, Winchendon Furniture earned a reputation for selling all-wood furniture, handmade in the United States, which the store still carries along with a vast assortment of other top-of-line products.

Winchendon Furniture has been a contributing member of the community as much as it has been a key business. Joe Ladeau was a trustee of Winchendon School for 25 years, a member of the board of directors at the YMCA for 15 years and served on the Board of Selectmen for the town of Winchendon.

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