Jeff Lothrop and his wife, Lise, have owned Atlas Supply on Lincoln Street in Lewiston since the mid-1980s. The Auburn couple is retiring and closed the HVAC wholesale and retail business Friday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

LEWISTON — The owners of Atlas Supply Corp. were unusually upbeat about their last day in business Friday.

Lise and Jeffrey Lothrop said “it’s time” after 40-plus years in business at 47 Lincoln St., the same location Lise’s father, Rosaire LaFontaine, opened the business in 1958.

The Auburn couple is retiring from the HVAC wholesale and retail business and selling off the inventory and assets. The building, which is 40,000 square feet, also has a two-bedroom apartment over it in a prime location, so it’s no wonder they already have half a dozen parties interested in purchasing it.

The Lothrops have owned and operated the heating supply business and sheet metal fabrication shop since about 1985, when they completed the buyout from her father.

“We just decided it was time to go,” Jeff Lothrop said, after efforts to persuade their son to take over the business or sell it outright didn’t pan out.

The Lothrops said they’ve been telling customers about their plans to close the business for about a year, but apparently some had not heard and found out when they visited the storefront Friday.


Owner Jeff Lothrop stands Friday in Atlas Supply Corp. on Lincoln Street in Lewiston. He and his wife, Lise, announced they are retiring and their last day of business was Friday. “It’s time for the next page,” he said. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Lothrop, a former Marine, said he’s looking forward to mowing golf courses, and no, he doesn’t even play golf. But he said he loves the solitude of riding the lawnmower with the drone of the engine as he cranks up WBLM in his headphones, and he doesn’t have to listen to anyone.

Business was good, in fact the couple said during the COVID-19 pandemic business was “crazy” with lots of homeowners remodeling and repairing their homes.

Jeff said people just don’t seem to want to take on the risks and long hours that come with owning any small business these days.

Atlas Supply Corp. was one of the last local, independent, family-run businesses for heating supplies in the area and has served the Lewiston-Auburn community for 65 years.

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