He refers to himself as a gambler, but Vernon d’Eon believes enough in the future of Yarmouth to add it as another location for his fishing supplies business.
Vernon d’Eon will be opening his newest fishing supplies store on Main Street in Yarmouth in mid-January. Carla Allen photo
Although Main Street has a fair number of empty sites to choose from, d’Eon chose to rent the building opposite the Rodd Grand Hotel, where the Clover Farm Supermarket used to be located. That business closed at the beginning of 2011.
D’Eon was selected as the 2011 Business Person of the Year by the Yarmouth and Area Chamber of Commerce. He says he’s been looking at a Yarmouth location for a while.
“We chose to do it now. Whether it’s a good time or a bad time. We’ve seen both. I’m a gambler. We’ve chosen Main Street for a reason,” he said.
“Lobster are fine. Catches are good. The only thing is the price. We’re very well diversified in other products,” he added.
He says his business conducted a survey prior to the decision to set up a Yarmouth location. The store will stock everything that Vernon d’Eon outlets normally sell – from clothing to fishing gear.
D’Eon fished with his father in the 1960s, built his own boat and was fishing for himself by 1969.
“We chose to do it now. Whether it’s a good time or a bad time. We’ve seen both. I’m a gambler. We’ve chosen Main Street for a reason.” Vernon d’Eon
In 1975 he sold his fishing boat, gear and fishing rights to buy out the operation of his good friend, Benoit Pottier.
After receiving instructions from Pottier, D’Eon and his wife began manufacturing wooden lobster plugs (pegs). The bags of 1,000 pegs were sold for $1.50 each. Over 75 million pegs were made and sold in 1978 to markets from New York to Newfoundland.
In the mid-1980s fishermen began shifting to rubber bands for lobster claws instead of pegs.
That’s when d’Eon switched to selling fishing supplies.
Vernon d'Eon Lobster Plugs Ltd. now employs close to 70 at nine locations.
With the head office located in West Pubnico, other outlets are Cape Sable Island, Shelburne, Barrington, Dennis Point Café & Restaurant (which includes a mini-store) in West Pubnico, Pictou, North Sydney, and Souris, PEI.
A tentative opening date of Jan.16 has been set for Vernon d'Eon Lobster Plugs Ltd.’s newest store. At least two people will be hired for the new store.