MAYVILLE — After 44 years, Llloyd’s Appliance in downtown Mayville has become as much a landmark as the former May Theater it occupies.
It is certainly something that will be widely missed as residents will have to search farther afield for their appliance and service needs.
“It’s the end of an era,” said Clint Scheberl, who runs the family business begun by his father, Lloyd, in 1973.
Sales will continue through January, or until the limited inventory is gone.
The business began in the family’s two-car garage at the corner of Walnut and Breckenridge streets. Lloyd’s wife, Virginia, has been a partner since the start. Over time, several family members got involved in the operation, including sons Clint and Chris; daughter Kelly; Chris’s wife, Karen; and Clint’s wife, June. Both Clint and Chris are trained to service a wide range of appliances.
Perhaps the biggest move occurred when Lloyd purchased the former May Theater in the heart of downtown Mayville. The building at 20 S. Main St. had earlier been converted into a lumber store, with the sloped floor, the stage and the concession areas removed. Rehearsal rooms for what had been a vaudeville performance venue, named the Modjeska, became storage spaces.
Competitors disappeared over time, leaving Lloyd’s as the sole appliance sales and service provider in the city, and one of few in the area. With service came the responsibility of being available for emergency calls as well.
“We put in a lot of hours, a lot of long days,” Clint said. “We really had more work than one person could handle, but we just continued to handle it ourselves. That was one of our greatest strengths, that when you called, you got one of the owners.”
Clint said that he has been in most Mayville-area homes for service calls. He will not miss the headache of keeping up with the changes in technology, or the challenge of repairing items which are now simply replaced.
Clint and June purchased half of the store and the service end of the business around 1986. Chris and Karen purchased the other half of the building and the sales portion of the business in 1988.
In 1990, Lloyd passed away, but Virginia continued to be involved, stopping by on a weekly basis to keep tabs on her sons’ progress.
“I’m a great-grandma, so I‘ve got plenty to keep me busy,” Virginia said.
None of the next generation of family members wants to continue the business, and Clint is ready to retire to spend more time with his family and to pursue his own interests. Chris will seek a new job after store closes for good, but is confident that he can find something to suit his needs and skill set.
Clint is philosophical about the closing, but believes he is ready for whatever lies ahead.
“I probably fixed three generations of families’ appliances,” he said. “It has been a long time, and I don’t want to see the fourth generation. My words of wisdom to our former customers are to always buy something from a place where you can get service.”
The building will soon become the home of the Open Door Coffeehouse (currently in the Ruedebusch Building at 119 S. Main St). Renovation will begin Feb. 1 with an opening date yet to be determined.