An iconic Dartmouth business is up for sale, 54 years after it first opened its doors on Portland Street.

Fisher’s Stationery is one of the oldest establishments in the area.

“We started without hardly anything on the shelf,” said owner Gloria Fisher, who opened the shop with her husband, Harold.  “One by one. When I sold one tube, I ordered two next time, then three and we built up.”

Fisher said it was her husband’s idea to set up the business.

“Reg Smith’s stationery store down the street was closing out,” said Fisher. Harold Fisher died just nine years later.

His widow has been in her store nearly every day since.

“I fell and they put some bolts in my leg. I was only out a week. It wasn’t very long.”

Gloria Fisher

Gloria Fisher, 92, can't imagine retirement after working nearly every day for 54 years. (CBC)

Fisher is now 92 years old. She uses a walker now to get around the small shop.

Her loyal customers are eager to help her. Several have volunteered to clean the store and stock the shelves.

In between customers, Fisher said she’s done her fair share of knitting. Now she’s switched her attention to word puzzles.

Gloria Martin has been a customer for more than 30 years. She hasn’t been tempted by chain stores offering similar products because she said they don’t have the personal touch.

“Normally whatever you need is here. I’ve never had to go anywhere else.”

Martin now considers Fisher a friend.

“I come in all the time to say hello and see how she’s doing,” Martin said. “I think she’s extra special, I really do. A lot of people do.”

Fisher’s son doesn’t want to continue the business, so the family decided it’s time to sell.

There’s no official date for Fisher’s last day of work. It depends on whether or when the building sells.

Fisher said she’ll miss the customers and their daily visits.

She has no plans for her retirement. 

“I’ll crash for about a month before I get my strength back,” Fisher laughed.