Treat’s a downtown fixture for a generation

PLYMOUTH — There is one simple reason for Treat’s Squire Shop’s 45 years of service to the community.
“I have to eat dinner here; I have to look my customers in the face,” said Gary Treat. “I don’t want anybody giving me dirty looks, thinking that I sold them something that wasn’t the very best quality. That means loyalty. That’s how we survived over the years.”
In 1966, local boy Budd Treat came back to his hometown from St. Louis to pursue an opportunity. Working for Yardley of London — the company that sponsored the Monkees’ tour when it came to America that year — and the chance to buy the building Treat’s Squire Shop currently inhabits came at the right time in his career. The Plymouth High School grad jumped on it.
“I remember when we moved here the first three months we spent refurbishing the building,” said Gary. “Cleaning it up, getting it ready. We bought our first set of fixtures from an old pharmacy in Bremen and finally we were ready to open up. I think Dad is still living the dream. He still comes to work almost every day. I guess once it gets in your blood it stays there.”
That dedication to customers and quality has paid off for Treat’s in becoming one of the blocks of Plymouth’s downtown. It has also brought customers from all over northern Indiana and even further.
“There was a time when there was a men’s store in every town around,” said Gary. “I can’t figure out if we’re a dinosaur or we just do things better than other people have done them. There aren’t a lot of stores like ours around anymore. I’ve got some customers from Chicago who have lake homes here and they say that they can come to our store and we do in 15 minutes what would take all day to do in Chicago. That makes me feel good about what we’re doing.
“I think it’s amazing that some people come in they don’t know what size their neck is or how long their arms are. Nobody has ever taken their measurements. They think they have to settle for that. We still do custom tailoring. They can come to our store and for the same price they get at a department store get the help they need.”
“This week was Bremen week,” said Treat. “It just seemed like everybody that came in was from Bremen. Other times everybody is from Knox or Warsaw. People like the way we treat them.”
And it doesn’t appear that will change any time in the next 45 years.
“We’re going to keep doing what we do better than anybody else doing it,” said Treat. “We’re going to keep taking care of our customers and I think they are going to keep taking care of us.”