The curtain's dropping on 70 years of cutting broadcloth, sizing up flannelette and ordering bolts of cotton and silk, Italian and British woolens, and colourful rayon blends and bridal lace.
Mitchell Fabrics, a staple for the city's designers, sewers, mothers and grandmothers, announced a final liquidation sale Tuesday.
The business, which occupies a full block on Main Street at Logan Avenue, was founded in 1946 by Mendel Mitchell and passed on to his nieces and nephews when he died in his early 80s decades ago.
Now no one's left to carry it on.
"It's the end of an era," retail manager Arnold Leventhal nodded from the display window, when a customer, her arms laden with sewing notions, approached to ask if the store was closing for real.
"The current managers and owners are of retirement age and have reached a point where they have decided they can no longer run the business. Despite best efforts Mitchell's has not found a buyer, leaving it with the only option of liquidating the business," owner-manager Paula Mitchell said Tuesday.
The business's formal announcement said the "old fashioned retailer," had weathered the tough times on Main Street, watched as gentrification brought new office space and condo development downtown.
"This announcement is made with sadness but also with recognition that Mitchell's has had a great run."
Once the inventory is sold off, the doors will close for good and the building will go up for sale, Mitchell said.
"We would have preferred to continue and we looked at selling the business, but it didn't happen. We're an aging owner-manager group and it's just time," said Mitchell, the niece of the store's founder.
In addition to retail, Mitchell's runs a separate wholesale division in the same building. It caters to 500 Hutterite colonies spread throughout Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the American border states west to Montana. Now it will be left to others to fill their thousands of orders a year.
Colony customers have a separate entrance to the store and they got a special note of appreciative thanks for their business in Tuesday's announcement.
By mid-morning on Tuesday, the store was packed.
Customers approached the owner-managers to thank them for their selection and service.
"I remember being a bride and I brought my seamstress here. That was 44 years ago," said Shelley Rasmussen, now a grandmother shopping for fleece for a blanket to hold family's newest yet-to-be-born grandchild.
"I'm very sorry you're closing," she told Mitchell.
Wedding gown designer Kathy Wiebe used Tuesday to stock up, her choice of fabrics spilling over one of the store's pair of broad wooden counters, themselves polished smooth to a caramel patina by decades of silks, satins, cottons and woollens.
"I'm very sad. I've been buying here for many years," Wiebe said.
Six cutters with scissors took customers' selections, rolling out bolts, cutting and refolding, tallying up bills, and starting all over again.
"There's a lot of stuff I can't get anywhere else except online," said Wiebe, shaking her head. "I still want to feel and touch the material."
The block still has its original wood-plank floors, the occasional creak underfoot part of the tempo of the place. The store mascot, a black cat with its coat flecked with grey, patiently tolerated the occasional pat or two.
And the scent: wood and more wool.
"I know... It smells like your grandmother's sewing room here," Wiebe said.