Almost 50 Years Later The tradition started by the late Fred Foster in 1972 continues in downtown Leamington Today.
When Dorothy Foster opened Modrigal Ladies Wear store at 26 Talbot Street East in 1970, little did she know that some 48 years later, she’d still be involved in the retail clothing industry.
After a couple of years of success in her own right, she talked her husband, Fred into opening a shop of his own, right next door.
“I had to twist his arm, but once he got started, there was no stopping him,” she said.
Fred Foster launched The Abbey in 1972 and the two businesses ran side-by-side for many years, enjoying the heyday of the 1970s in downtown Leamington. Fred also dabbled in the men’s wear business in Chatham before selling the business after more than 20 years. Dorothy and Fred’s son, David, re-established The Abbey in 2014 at 29 Talbot Street West, after a 25-year career in architectural and structural design. The early days of The Abbey and Modrigal offered David valuable experience in watching his parents deal with customers, suppliers and other retailers. He carries with him extensive experience in retail that dates all the way back to that 1972 opening of the Abbey.
“We lived through some great years in Leamington’s downtown core,” he said.
Some of his fondest memories include Leamington’s Centennial celebration, when they decorated the storefronts specifically for the centennial. “That summer of 1974 was a great summer. We had everything in red and white,” he recalls.
Sidewalk sales were a big part of every summer as Modrigal and the Abbey grew into successful businesses.
David tries his best to carry on his father’s legacy with top-notch sales and service.
Whether it’s simple alterations or major suit and blazer rebuilds, David promises the best service, from seamstresses to master tailors.
“Having such a great group of trades allows us to do in-store, online and corporate sales and we stand behind every garment that leaves The Abbey.
The Abbey prides itself on building long lasting relationships with their customers, vendors and trades, which allows them to track your dimensions over time and consistently hit that perfect cut and perfect fit. That way if they receive a hot call-in or online order, the garment can be altered and ready for you in a timely and accurate manner.
“That’s how we are able to take care of our local clients and our online clients from across North America and into Europe,” he said.
David Foster, known to his friends as “Owie”, has long been a proponent of downtown Leamington’s shops and stores, citing the history behind all of the retail merchants in the area.
“At The Abbey, we prize comfort and superior Men’s clothing over throw-away fashions,” he says.
That’s long been the Foster motto. Consistent size, quality and design will carry them into the future as his late father’s dream continues.
Visit The Abbey today for top-quality men’s fashions and service that’s second to none.