Cheeky Monkey sold to Toronto developer

Roland & Mary Anne Peloza in their Cheeky Monkey Movie & Music Store in Sarnia. July 2021. (Submitted photo)

The owners of a popular record store in downtown Sarnia are looking forward to retirement after selling Cheeky Monkey to a developer from Toronto.

Mary Anne and Roland Peloza said July 6 marked the 22nd anniversary of the store, located on Christina Street North. The couple opened the business after closing a video rental and record store in Wallaceburg that operated for 17 years.

“We’re at an age where we want to be able to travel and take it easy and still have our health,” said Roland. “We’re looking forward to the next chapter, the next phase of our lives.”

He said the store has been up for sale for nearly two years.

“I have no idea what they intend for the building but they made an offer and we accepted it,” said Roland. “The deal closes October 1.”

Until then, Cheeky Monkey will remain open until mid to late September.

“So right now, we’re running a promotion where we pay the tax on everything so everything is tax-free, which is a fairly significant saving,” he said. “After that, we will take whatever is left and will probably find an online outlet to sell the rest through.”

He said the business did “take a hit” in 2020 due to circumstances brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Cheeky Monkey also hit a bump in the road with business during construction on Christina Street a few years ago. But overall, Roland said the last three to four years have been the best in their books.

“Once we were allowed to be open, the people just came back stronger than ever,” he said. “We’re going to miss the customers.”

-With files from Colin Gowdy