It’s unusual to have three opticians under one roof, but that’s what you will find at The Eye Opener in Corunna. Mark Hodgins opened the business in 1979 on Lyndock Street and by the early eighties, moved to 219 Hill Street, where they remain today. Then, his son Jason and daughter-in-law Kate joined the business. “While we’ve always had part-time staff, it’s truly a family business. My grandfather worked here for ten years after he retired from his career and my sisters and I worked here when we were in high school,” explains Jason Hodgins. He and his wife, Kate, met in school and graduated from Georgian College in 2010. “Our education was a little different from my dad’s. He traveled and completed his studies through correspondence, while we had a traditional education. He would be in California, for example, and they would ask him to complete his exams at a nearby college.”
The team understands the advantage of completing all the work in-house. “You get to use your hands on the mechanical side while running the equipment. You get to crunch numbers and do math with the prescriptions. I love those parts, but I’m also super excited about new fashion. I love it when the new frames come in.” Every single frame in the shop is hand-picked by Hodgins. “We enjoy helping customers pick that perfect frame. I enjoy the challenge of making their lenses cosmetically appealing, even with a strong prescription.” Having an on-site lab makes this all possible. “My dad established the lab early on and that sets us apart.” The lab also allows them to do on-site repairs for customers.
Creating someone’s prescription lenses is an art. “You want to keep them as thin and as light as possible. Having the ability to do this on site makes it that much easier to work out front.” The staff helps customers pick out the right frames for their face shape and style. “If we aren’t sure if their prescription will work for those particular glasses, we can run to the back and work out the numbers. If it won’t work, we can steer them in another direction, so we can get them in the best possible fit.” Along with the three full-time opticians, Margy has worked with the family since 2000. “She not only ensures the lab runs smoothly, but she can also jump out front to help our clients find the perfect frame. She’s been here for long enough that she knows most aspects of the business and is practically family as well.”
The Hodgins family is dedicated to giving back and serving their community. The Eye Opener is a regular supporter of various charities, including #charitable. And after serving the local community for over 40 years at 219 Hill Street, The Eye Opener is building a bigger and better location directly across the street. “This new store will allow us to better serve our customers. We are fortunate to have so many loyal customers we see every year. My dad started dealing with them when they were young and now we are fitting their kids with glasses.”