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COLUMBIA, CT -- Michael Riquier, the founder of MBR Industries and a partner in T&M Distributors, died here on Feb. 7. He was 62.
Riquier, the youngest of five children, grew up in the family coin machine business, Riquier Vending; the company had been formed in1944 by his parents, Alphonse and May Riquier. After serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, he returned to his hometown of Willimantic, CT, and partnered with his brother Tom to expand the Riquier operation into T&M Distributors.
In addition to route operation, the firm became a distributor for such leading lines as Seeburg jukeboxes, Premier Technologies flipper games and U.S. Billiards and Valley pool tables. It later spun off the distributorship as a separate business, TDM Distributors.
Today, T&M -- now headquartered in North Windham -- is one of the largest coin machine operators in New England. It also has become a leading supplier of recreational equipment for the home market through its T&M Billiards and Barstools stores.
A talented technician and craftsman, Michael went on to found MBR Industries in 2001, to meet the demand for custom game cabinet fabrication. His products found favor not only with area operators, but also with purchasers of games for home recreation rooms.
He is survived by his wife Bonnie, three sons, four daughters and grandchildren.
THE CRAFTSMAN: Before launching MBR Industries in 2001, Mike Riquier was already fabricating cabinets for T&M Distributors and TDM Distributing. Here, the accomplished woodworker and machine mechanic is pictured (2007) with his CNC saw on the MBR factory floor, located in T&M Distributor's former building in Willimantic, CT. The craftsman recognized T&M’s need for attractive and functional cabinetry. He built his first custom cabinet for Golden Tee 3D, Incredible Technologies’ first golf game.