|6/20/2012 7:58:00 PM|
Lambriar Kennels goes out of business
Lambriar Kennels Going Out
Of Business, Started in 1968
After 44 years in business, Lambriar Kennels in Mahaska, Kansas is closing their doors. The last shipment of puppies was delivered last week and operations will dwindle with office staff closing out business activity sometime in July.
For company owners and founders, Roger and Darlene Lambert, the announcement which was made official last week is bittersweet.
"We always said we wanted to go out on top and that's exactly what we're doing," Roger said. "For the first time in many, many years we're going to be able to sit back on the front porch and just think about things."
And go out on top they are. Lambriar Kennels is not just a nationwide name among puppy distributors, they are the name in that field. For decades Lambriar was the largest distributor in the nation.
Roger said that while distributor/client confidentiality has always been paramount he said many famous people have been customers over the years.
"But I can tell you that we did sell a Cocker Spaniel to president Bush Sr., and Wayne Newton was also a customer of ours," he said.
Darlene said the hardest part of shuttering what has been a positive economic impactor for the area was losing their employees. The operation regularly employed between 70 and 80 persons. She said thousands of people over the years have worked for Lambriar.
"Our employees are like family to us and they know it," she said. "Without the quality, dedication and hard work of our people we would have been nothing."
"We have known for several weeks that this was going to happen and our very first concern was for our employees and what we could do to make sure they all had jobs," Darlene added. "Many have thankfully found other work and we're going to do what we can to help the rest. They are really the best."
Roger agreed saying, "We are so grateful to people in Washington, Republic Jefferson and Thayer Counties for all of the support they have given us and especially to the community of Mahaska that has supported us over those 44 years."
Fairbury, Belleville Not Affected
The Lamberts said initially they really didn't want any publicity on their closure. But they felt for the sake of two other business operations it was important to make an announcement.
"Our son Doug is the owner of Lambert Vet Supply in both Fairbury and Belleville," Darlene said. "They are completely, separate businesses but we believed it was important that people did not get the the two confused. Both LVS operations are not closing and in fact Doug has hired many of our employees from Mariska."
Economy To Blame
While Roger said that both he and Darlene knew retirement would come at some point, he didn't think it would be quite this soon. The economy, he said, has played a large role in their decision.
"Things really are tough out there no matter what you read in the papers," he said. 'When you couple the bad economy with increasing rules and regulations and increased pressure from animal rights activists, well, it just got too hard." Roger said where once there were well over 100 large distributors int he nation, at present that number is down to three.
"Sure there are a lot of small distributors out there," Darlene said. "But as a large distributor we prided ourselves on doing everything the right way and taking care of our animals in the best manner possible."
Roger said that both he and Darlene had hoped to retire with little fanfare but added since word got out about their closure they have been inundated with well-wishes and comments from all across the nation, a sentiment that is overwhelming to both of them.
"We just wanted to go away quietly but that obviously isn't going to happen," he said. "But it's just time."