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'We don’t have a favourite': Rival Sturgeon Falls chip stands that serve up friendly competition now both up for sale

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Two competing chip stands in Sturgeon Falls located across the street from each other are both up for sale for more than a $1 million each.

Right off the main drag on Main Street, there’s a friendly rivalry like no other between Riv Chip Stand and Larry’s Chip Stand.

During the lunch hour rush, there’s always a debate that has been going on for years between customers about who sells the better-tasting food.

"It’s fantastic as always, That’s why we go to the Riv," customer Chris Levesque told CTVNewsNorthernOntario.ca on Tuesday.

Two rival chip stands operate across the street from each other in Sturgeon Falls for decades and are both up for sale. June 11, 2024

Sitting nearby, Joshua Spry and Arianna Scopie agree.

"We’re on team Riv," they said.

But a few tables down, Diana Savage and Seth Leach said they have no preference.

"Whichever one is too busy, then we go to the other one," they laughed.

Two rival chip stands operate across the street from each other in Sturgeon Falls for decades and are both up for sale. June 11, 2024

Riv and Larry’s chip stands have revved up their fryers attracting tourists and locals alike in Sturgeon Falls for more than 50 years.

"It’s kind of fun. Sometimes you’ll see a couple get out of their car and one will go to one side and one to the other," laughed Riv co-owner Kate Lepage.

Two rival chip stands operate across the street from each other in Sturgeon Falls for decades and are both up for sale. June 11, 2024

The friendly battle for the customer’s cash has now coincidentally turned into the battle for the buyer.

Both iconic chip stands are up for sale. The Riv is priced at close to $1.3 million, while Larry’s is listed a $1.1 million.

The Lepages have been in the hospitality industry for more than 20 years and they’ve been serving food from the window of the chip stand for eight years.

Two rival chip stands operate across the street from each other in Sturgeon Falls for decades and are both up for sale. June 11, 2024

"We had a 10-year plan and now, we’re giving ourselves some leg room to be able to find the right buyers," Riv co-owner Bruno Lepage said.

"There hasn't been any solid interest at this point. But, you know, we're keeping our options open."

They’re now looking to start the next chapter in their lives.

"It’s been really touching just to see and getting to know the customers individually and you know there’s a lot of great fond memories to this," Bruno said.

The Lepages describe Larry’s Chip Stand as a "frenemy," explaining that both concessions have their own unique way of doing things, but they offer each other friendly advice.

Bruno said he always encourages customers to try the food from Larry’s as well.

Two rival chip stands operate across the street from each other in Sturgeon Falls for decades and are both up for sale. June 11, 2024

"The Riv is kind of an ingrained staple in the community. It's funny, we have two restaurants that are facing each other. It creates a great dynamic," he said.

Two rival chip stands operate across the street from each other in Sturgeon Falls for decades and are both up for sale. June 11, 2024

"It creates a lot of options for customers. Sturgeon Falls is known for their French fries. So, you know, we want to keep that tradition to continue on."

The impending sale means hungry customers are hoping new owners will continue the chip stand competition.

"Hopefully, it’s someone who knows local or at least knows what we like around here," said customer Nathan Sauve. 

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