by Stephen Dafoe
If you’ve wondered what was happening behind the big orange tarp on the old vitamin store in downtown Morinville, you do not have to wonder any longer. The building’s new owners, Lisa Piche and Adam Parenteau, have been renovating the property to transform it into iCandy Optical, which will hold its ribbon cutting on Friday at 3 p.m.
Although the business is new to Morinville, optician Lisa Piche brings almost 15 years of experience and love for eyeglasses to the new venture.
“I was kind of getting to the point where I wasn’t loving my job anymore, and glasses are my passion,” she said of her previous work in the trade. “I was trying to get back to where I was happy again.”
While Piche is grateful for the time spent with her previous employer, she felt the large, fast-paced company prevented her from providing the level of service she loved to give.
“I was missing that one-on-one care that I loved so much about being an optician, so the only option was to start my own business,” she said.
That business, iCandy Optical, started as an idea on July 13 of 2021, and by November, Piche and Parenteau had acquired the building and began working on their dream.
“It happened pretty quickly,” she said. “It was meant to be. Everything just seemed to fall into place.”
Piche said she wants to create a homey, community-minded business where the customer can come in, have a drink, relax, and take their time getting the information and service they need.
“To me, glasses are all about your personality, so iCandy is fun and fashionable, and your expression of who you are,” she said, adding glasses can make you feel a certain way about yourself.
Although the shop offers a trendy boutique vibe, Piche points out that the product is affordable.
“I wanted it to have a modern feel and not look dated. I’m bringing trendy and fashionable to Morinville so that you don’t have to go anywhere else,” she said. “But we want to make sure you are getting good value. That’s so important to me. We want to make sure we have something and pricing for everybody.”
Having grown up in Morinville and having been involved in the community over the years, Piche said she wants iCandy to be known for community involvement.
“It’s important to me to have a business that supports other organizations in town,” she said. That’s a goal for me – to make sure people are being supported.”
iCandy Optical will donate $10 per pair of glasses to the Jessica Martel Memorial Foundation throughout January.
The store also wants to ensure no child who needs glasses goes without. As such, iCandy has a selection of donated frames on its second-chance wall.
“If you purchase a pair of glasses [from that wall] it’s $60. It’s super cheap,” she said. “All you’re really paying for are the lenses, and we’re giving you a really good deal, but anyone in town with a referral from any of the organizations will be at no charge.”
iCandy Optical is open Mondays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from (9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Living in Morinville, Piche said she wants to be flexible for clients that may require assistance after hours.