OTTAWA -- A staple of the ByWard Market will soon be closing up shop. For 25 years, Ma Cuisine has been the go-to place for all things kitchen. If you need something, chances are you could find it there.

For owner Claire Lauzon, deciding to close her store was a tough decision, but she says it was the right one.

“Oh, I’m heartbroken. I am,” says Lauzon. “Some days I cry, and some days I’m very strong. Some days, in the middle of an interview, I’ll cry. So yeah, I’m heartbroken; we’ve had such community support and it’s been so good. People have been so good to Ma Cuisine. It’s been a success from the day I opened the doors 25 years ago.”

Lauzon says the reason for the closure has nothing to do with the pandemic, and was a decision that has been years in the making.

“I’m retiring,” says Lauzon. “That’s why we’re closing. But the store is up for sale, so hopefully somebody will save it and then it won’t have to close.”

Some customers, like Ramonde Carrier have been coming to Ma Cuisine for almost 20 years.

“It’s a unique store,” says Carrier. “I think it’s very sad, this closure, because it’s a beautiful store and I’d like to buy everything in the store.”

Ma Cuisine

Others have been shopping here since it first opened.

“I’ve lived in the market for 35 years and one way or another this has been one of the stores I’ve come to when I needed beautiful, useful, long-lasting objects,” says customer Kristina Edwards.

For Melissa Ranger, Ma Cuisine has spanned generations in her family.

“My parents were the ones who originally found this store and would bring us here and it would be a treat,” says Ranger. “Everything is so classy and nice, you know. It’s the place you want to come to buy your kitchen supplies.”

Store to close by year's end if no buyer found

“The plan if we are closing—if we’re not selling—will be at the end of the year,” says Lauzon, “whenever I run out of stock. We do have a full basement and we have all the fall and Christmas stuff that still needs to come out.”

Ma Cuisine

Lauzon says that although she will miss Ma Cuisine, she is ready for the next stage of life and spending more time with her family.

“My husband has been retired for six years, so we’re looking forward to more skiing and more travelling and cycling. We’re very active people, so looking forward to a lot of that.”