In 1947, the first Cleve’s Sporting Goods opened in Halifax. The founder, Bernie Cleveland lent his nickname to his new store. The store originally sold mostly hunting and fishing supplies, as well as team sports equipment.
In 1968, Eric Bezanson purchased Cleve’s and remains company CEO. When Eric took over the company there were a total of three employees, including Eric, his wife Anne (who did the book keeping) and Lorne MacLellan who is now the V.P. of Purchasing. Dave Keating (Hockey Dept. Head) and Kevin Bezanson (President) both started working for Cleve’s in that small store on the corner of Argyle and Blower Street.
Business boomed in the early 1970’s, thanks to the new importance of physical fitness and the wide selection of sporting goods covering everything from running to alpine skiing. The company expanded to twelve locations on mainland Nova Scotia through the 80’s and 90’s, and now operates 17 stores in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
Cleve’s has been a member of Sports Distributors of Canada, a buying group made up of 200 independent sporting goods stores across country, since the group’s beginnings in the early 1970’s. The buying group gives member’s greater buying power, and the opportunity to work together on marketing. The group’s marketing banner is “Source For Sports”. Cleve’s first adopted the name “Cleve’s Source For Sports” in 1999. All new store opened from that point on were opened under the banner, and today all Cleve’s locations have been converted to “Source For Sports”.