Some things never change, and Manley’s Stationery & Office Supplies is proof of that: even as they’ve evolved from selling yeast to textbooks to stationery and office furniture, Manley’s has, for over 100 years, prioritized customer service above all else. Manleys was founded in 1900 by Blanche and Tom Manley. In 1948, employees Fred and Ted Leaver purchased the business from Blanche, and since that time it has been run by members of the Leaver family. In 1978, Ted’s sons Peter and John took over the business. Since 2002, Peter’s two daughters, Carolyn and Lisa, have managed the business. The business was located on Lochiel Street in downtown Sarnia for many years before relocating to 152 Kendall Street in Point Edward.
Carolyn and Lisa both pursued careers in teaching before returning to run the family business. Both agree that they were always meant to return to the Sarnia area to join their father in running Manley’s. They have both brought a modern outlook to the century-old business. Since relinquishing the company to his daughters, Peter has enjoyed watching his daughters grow and change the company. He nevertheless continues to take part in his own way: he carries bags and wears hats with the Manleys label when he goes on his weekly trips to the local farmer’s market. He uses the opportunity to talk up the business that his daughters now run. This is the type of marketing that he is familiar with. “I want to see everything go on, forever and ever,” he says.