Mark Gust To Retire from Family Britches after 50 Years; Store Closing June 30


Mark Gust started working for Family Britches in January of 1972.

Mark Gust in Family Britches, April 30, 2024. Credit: Michael Dinan

He was 21 years old, having graduated from Chappaqua High School and with two years at Villanova University under his belt.

Gust worked at the original Family Britches in Chappaqua, N.Y. for about two years and then came to New Canaan when the company opened a store on Elm Street.

On June 30, Gust will retire from his career as a buyer and store manager for the clothing shop, which will close with his retirement.

Family Britches will close June 30. Credit: Michael Dinan

“It’s exciting,” Gust told on Tuesday from the sales floor at 99 Main St. “It’s sad. In a way I’m going to miss the business immensely, and the people in New Canaan have been like family to me. A couple of generations have gone through here. So it’s sort of bittersweet.”

Family Britches in 2018 moved from Elm Street to its current location on Main.

Gust has helped countless New Canaanites dress well during his decades at Family Britches, whose location in Chappaqua will continue to operate. 

One of those customers is Carl Franco, who said, “No word of a lie, 99% of  my wardrobe has come from Family Britches. “

“You can’t even call it a clothing store, it’s really a haberdashery, one of very few in existence,” Franco said. “I know there are fashion labels they carry that can be purchased at other retailers, but for me it has always been about the customer service and advice that is the standard at Family Britches. Mark has helped me pick out clothing in both times of celebration and sorrow and his retirement makes me realize that I’m losing more than a favorite place to shop, I feel like I’m losing a friend.”

The store is a longtime member of the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce. 

Laura Budd, the Chamber’s executive director, said, “While we hate to see Family Britches leave New Canaan, we are so pleased that Mark will be able to enjoy a well-deserved retirement. Family Britches has been an institution in New Canaan for over 40 years. They have been great a great partner for all of us, especially at the Chamber and from their time on Elm Street to their time on Main Street they’ve been a fixture, and we will certainly miss them, but we know that their customers will be able to find all their great clothes at their location in Chappaqua.”

Gust said that his memories of Family Britches will “unquestionably” be about “the people of New Canaan.”

“And memories of people in the industry that I’ve met,” he said. “Sales reps and so on. A lot of them have become friends over the years.”

Asked about his retirement plans, Gust—a Durham, Conn. resident—said he’s moving to Bucks County, Pennsylvania to spend more time with his grandchildren.

“It’s going to be fun,” he said.

Asked whether he had a message for New Canaan and his longtime local customers, Guest said, “Mostly, thank you and I’ll miss you.” After a moment he added, “That’s pretty much it.”

11 thoughts on “Mark Gust To Retire from Family Britches after 50 Years; Store Closing June 30

  1. We’ll miss you, Mark. You’ve been a part of what makes New Canaan a great place to live. Congratulations on your retirement, and enjoy your many years ahead.

  2. Mark, congrats and best wishes for your retirement. We will miss you as well as the store. A town loss all around.

  3. Mark, thank you for making my husband’s birthday and Christmas shopping so effortless! You always knew what he’d like. And when my sons came in with their Uncle Carl, they could never wait to show me what you helped them choose. And my extended family will always appreciate your incredible service and friendship with our mom. Godspeed, and we will all miss you very, very much.

  4. Congratulations, Mark! We will miss you for sure. You have provided me with great clothes since I was a kid and now as an adult.

    Best wishes for your retirement! Well deserved!

  5. Mark, congratulations and thank you for being such a great part of the New Canaan business scene for so many years. Best wishes down the home stretch toward your next chapter!

  6. Mark and the team at Family Britches have been incredibly kind and welcoming every time I enter their store.

    Mark in particular has always been a terrific source of advice whether it be for me with clothing or tailoring, or for gifts at Christmas time and throughout the years. He is the utmost professional.

    The store and Mark will be sorely missed. A true institution in New Canaan. Congrats on retirement, Mark!

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