Joseph Thomas Swyers
Born the son of a fisherman, Joseph Thomas Swyers was determined to become an entrepreneur. At the age of sixteen young Joseph had saved $20.00 and wanted to enter the world of business. He approached well-known Bonavista businessman James Ryan and asked Ryan to sell him $20.00 worth of provisions and extend him another $20.00 in credit. Seeing the eagerness of the boy, Ryan gave him a credit of $120.00 and in 1892 the firm J.T. Swyers began.
By the turn of the century, Joseph had erected a building at the site occupied today by J.T. Swyers Company Ltd. In 1919, a new and larger store was opened at the same location, and in 1920 the company was incorporated.
Over 112 years later, J.T. Swyers Company Ltd. continues to thrive as a member of Castle Building Centres, True Value Hardware and Atlantic Save Easy, and operates a general wholesale and retail operation from the site of Swyers’ original store.