After 36 years in business, Ye Olde Piggy Bank will soon shut its doors. (Samantha Anderson)

After 36 years, an iconic Lower Mainland costume shop will close its doors

Costume rental shop has been a Cloverdale landmark for nearly four decades

After nearly four decades, Cloverdale’s costume rental shop Ye Olde Piggy Bank will soon shut its doors.

For co-owners Freda Mattern, 75, and Joanne Thompson, 72, “it’s time.”

If someone came in today and offered to buy the whole store’s stock, they’d be gone tomorrow, said Freda Mattern.

Their building has recently come under new ownership, she explained, and a rent increase has given them the extra push into retirement.

“Both me and my partner are in our 70s, and with the rent increase, it’s time,” she said.

Mattern said she hadn’t been thinking of retirement, but she knows she “has lots to do.” She may teach sewing after the store closes. She is well-qualified — she has taken courses in dressmaking, designing, millinery, pattern making, draping and more — and over the years, she has created a good deal of the costumes that Ye Olde Piggy Bank has to offer.

Ye Olde Piggy Bank started out in 1982 as a crafts, antiques and collectibles store. When several other craft stores opened in Cloverdale, Mattern, a costume maker of many years, proposed they switch their focus to renting costumes.

“It was a slow process. We still had antiques and collectibles, it was just a transition from one to the other,” she said.

Ye Olde Piggy Bank is named for the building’s origins. When it was constructed in 1912, it was the first bank in Surrey, the Bank of Montreal. It hasn’t been a bank since 1958, but certain reminders remain, such as the bank vault, which is now used as storage.

There are certain challenges to running a costume rental shop, of course. One needs to have what is popular and in demand, and in the needed sizes. Over the decades, Ye Olde Piggy Bank has amassed a huge variety of handmade costumes and vintage clothing.

“You name it, we’ve rented out for it,” said Mattern.

“One fellow rented a knight costume and he also went out to rent a horse and he proposed to his girlfriend. That was cute. That was nice.”

The most popular costumes, she said, are from the Roaring Twenties or “what they call Great Gatsby now,” medieval costumes, and period clothing from the 1950s.

“We have a lot of retro clothing all throughout the different eras,” Mattern said. “We have clothing right from the 1920s.”

“We also have a big black bear [costume] that people have rented to jump out of the bushes and scare their friends camping. It’s very lifelike,” she said, laughing.

Ye Olde Piggy Bank is currently selling its costumes, rather than renting them. As for a closing date? Mattern said, “As soon as we can.”

What she’ll miss most, she said, is Cloverdale itself.

Mattern has long been involved in the Cloverdale business community, not only as a business owner, but as a representative of the Business Improvement Association (BIA). She is a founding member of the Cloverdale BIA, and has served on the Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce as well.

She is currently a BIA board member, and she said she hopes to find a way to continue to be involved in the business community after Ye Olde Piggy Bank closes.

One of the best things about being in business in Cloverdale for so long was seeing the community improve “constantly” and being a part of that change, she said.

“It wasn’t much in the beginning, but it sure is now,” she said. “At one time Cloverdale was a rodeo parade. You had that one three-day weekend where everybody came to Cloverdale and then left to go to the fairgrounds.”

Now, she said, a point of pride is the variety of events that take place throughout the town centre, all through the year.

Ye Olde Piggy Bank is located on downtown Cloverdale’s main street, at 5683 176 Street.



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

After 36 years in business, Ye Olde Piggy Bank will soon shut its doors. (Samantha Anderson)

Just Posted

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

First residents move into Nuxalk Nation’s tiny homes

Four of the tiny homes are now complete and residents have moved in

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 5: Recap

Highlights and results from day 5 at the All Native Tournament

Students give two thumbs up to no more B.C. student loan interest

Eliminating the loan interest charges could save the average graduate $2,300 over 10 years

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

B.C. business groups worry about looming economic decline in wake of NDP budget

The party’s second government budget focused on plenty of spending, business advocates say

Man injured in police shooting near Nelson has died: B.C. police watchdog

The death follows an incident in Bonnington on Feb. 13

Most Read