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Pandemic fallout claims longstanding business

Artisan Office Services Ltd. is closing permanently July 31
Artisan's delivery people standing in front of the delivery van parked before the office
It was a few short months ago that Artisan Office was offering free deliveries to those in isolation as part of pandemic prevention efforts. This month, in part due to COVID-19, the business is closing. Pictured above: couriers Mike Gruft, Murray Manson, Kelly Miller, Christine Miller

After 22 years, one of the long-time businesses of Artisan Square will print its last page  and deliver its last package later this month. 

Artisan Office Services Ltd. and Artisan Express is ceasing operations July 15 and permanently closing July 31.

“There were a lot of different factors involved,” said manager Heather Miller. “And then COVID just kind of came along and took things sideways and made it impossible to plan or to resolve some of the other issues that we face.”

The lease was expiring, putting further pressure on coming to a decision said Miller. 

Murray and Janice Skeels started Artisan Office in the late ‘90s across the street from its current location and Margaret Miller bought the business in 2013. Heather took over managing Artisan Office a year ago. 

The business today encompasses delivery services, office services and a community-wide newsletter (the Bulletin).

Faxing (a number of items still need to be faxed these days noted Miller) and scanning documents and being Bowen’s FedEx retailer were among Artisan Office’s unique services. It would also take documents to in-town accountants and lawyers, bring in bank deposits and whatever else. “So that people…can have their life on Bowen,” said Miller. “They don’t have to give up a day’s work on Bowen to go into town to take care of business.”

Miller said she’s going to miss Artisan Office life. 

“It’s been a real pleasure just working with and interacting with so many people every day,” said Miller. “And feeling that we are helping them and supporting them in all sorts of ways but also just seeing them and hearing what’s going on.”

“I will miss that every day.”