St. John’s, NL. City of Legends. Most easterly city in North America. Everyone is familiar with the history and tourist attractions, but what about the small business scene? A stroll downtown reveals myriad local stores dealing in everything from clothing to housewares to environmentally conscious products. Here are some of the places I always visit when I’m downtown.
Located across 2 heritage buildings, Posie Row is an incubator of sorts, providing retail space for start-up businesses to help them gain a foothold. Posie Row itself is on the ground floor (and part of the first floor) selling unique giftware, jewelry, clothing, housewares, and more. As you head upwards you’ll find an ever-changing array of offerings; ever-changing because as businesses succeed they move out into their own store-fronts, leaving room for another new business. No matter who you’re buying for, you’re bound to find the perfect gift!
If you love shopping for luscious handmade toiletries and cosmetics in a calm, soothing atmosphere, then Tval is the place for you. Marvel at the soaps shaped like cupcakes, test the luxurious lotions, and profit from the extensive knowledge of the staff. All the products are made on-site, so if you have questions they’re answered quickly and professionally. My personal favourite? The kitchen soap made with Jumping Bean coffee beans and a hint of peppermint – perfect for neutralizing the smell of onions (and other stinky foodstuffs) from your skin.
Jumping Bean Coffee
Do you like your java to have an environmentally conscious twist? Check out Jumping Bean. Their roasting process saves a pound of carbon per pound of beans, and their single-use pods are compostable. I’m a sucker for the East Coast Roast with a chocolate-dipped oatcake on the side and if you visit their Atlantic Place location you can sit out on the deck and enjoy great views of St. John’s harbour, Signal Hill, and The Narrows.
This neon-coloured candystore is a sweet-lovers heaven! Chock full of imported candy, retro candy, and pop-culture doodads it’s tough to pass by – especially for those of us with a sweet tooth. It’s a walk down memory lane for me as I fill my take-out box with “pick-n-mix” candy and eyeball the British chocolate bars of my childhood. Haven’t yet built up the courage to try vomit-flavoured jelly beans though…
Emma Speagell is a Bilingual Business Counsellor based in St. John’s. She has been with CFIB for 5 years, and loves finding new ways to support independent businesses, whether it’s through answering queries, writing informative web articles, or buying product.