Hayward and Warwick gone, but not forgotten
Posted on November 26, 2021 | By Alexander Chafe | 0 Comments
Where do you go to find a special gift for a momentous occasion? For 162 years, residents of Saint John, N.B. patronized family-owned Hayward and Warwick Inc. for fine-quality china and other giftware. What was once one of the longest-running family businesses in the province is now closed, but the namesake building still stands.
Hayward and Warwick Inc. was founded in 1855 by brothers-in-law William Hayward and William Warwick. The business originally operated on Prince William Street in Saint John, N.B., but after a fire destroyed most of the city in 1877, the founders constructed a new building in 1879. The family-run Hayward and Warwick business operated from the new building on 85 Princess Street for over a century, selling china, crystal, ceramics and other home and giftware.
Fifth Generation Family Ownership
By 2012, the business had been passed down through five generations of the Hayward family. At this time, owners Mark and David Hayward made some changes. Due to declining sales from the wholesale side of the business, the building’s 3,500 square feet of warehouse space was no longer needed. So, the building was sold to local real estate developer Historica Developments.
Hayward and Warwick retail sales continued on the ground floor and Historica began changes to convert the top three levels of warehouse space into 27 high-end apartments. Experienced in renovating landmark buildings, Historica preserved the property’s historic value by showcasing the original beamwork, brick and high ceilings. They even found creative ways to re-use various elements of the original structure, like making light fixtures from parts of the old freight elevator.
New Business Ownership
In 2013, with no family wanting to take over the business, the Hayward brothers thought it would end with them. However, Royden McKillop, longtime employee since 1966, wanted to see Hayward and Warwick continue and negotiated a deal to take ownership. Together with his wife Suzan, whom he had met while working at the store, they resumed operations with some modern changes. The store got a fresh coat of paint, colourful chairs were placed out front and the product line expanded to include Vera Wang bone china, art and jewelry made by locals.
After four years of ownership, the McKillop family made the difficult decision to close Hayward and Warwick in 2017, due to a “sudden, serious” illness. Following the announcement, locals lined up outside the store to support the business one last time.
Today, the Henry and Warwick building still stands. Now known as The Warehouse, a name chosen as a tribute to the building’s roots, the ground floor is home to Photography Flewwelling photography studio, Refresh Wellness Studio spa and the head offices of building owner Historica Developments. Apartments remain in the upper levels.
The presence of family-owned Hayward & Warwick Inc. is certainly missed in downtown Saint John. But, with the 142-year-old building, part of its history remains.
• For more Web Exclusives, click here.
Comments are moderated to ensure thoughtful and respectful conversations. First and last names will appear with each submission; anonymous comments and pseudonyms will not be permitted.
By submitting a comment, you accept that Atlantic Business Magazine has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner it chooses. Publication of a comment does not constitute endorsement of that comment. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.