Hamilton, Ontario’s James Street North is now home to a new business that seeks to further boost civic pride.
Owner Donna Reid opened The Hamilton Store at HIStory + HERitage in November at 165 James St. N. The Hamilton Store only sells items made in, or about, Hamilton. She proudly states that you will not find a picture of the CN Tower at her store.
The Hamilton Store currently has a variety of items available for purchase. For those who like tea, there are three loose leaf teas (the signature tea is Hamilton Harvest) made by Stoney Creek’s Parkermanns Fine Tea Co. Kozlik’s Canadian Mustard uses mustard seeds ground at Hamilton’s G.S. Dunn. The store also carries a line of lavender products from Dundas’ Weir’s Lane Lavender and Apiary. If you are looking for a printed souvenir, Reid has several books, postcards, buttons and printed images to choose from.
“It reminded me of a gallery that allowed for a walk through Hamilton downtown past and present,” said Christopher Godwaldt, co-owner of Cafe Oranje in downtown Hamilton, after visiting during November’s Art Crawl event. “I love the collaboration around all things [Hamilton].”
Reid, who moved to Hamilton in 1998, says Hamilton’s diverse history and architecture are some of the things that she loves most about the community. In 2000, she wrote a proposal for a Hamilton themed store, but was unable to launch the store at that time.
“I couldn’t find anywhere to buy Hamilton gifts for people and when I had guests I definitely couldn’t find any quality souvenirs for them,” she said.
Since opening the store, Reid describes the reaction as very positive. She said customers have told her that this store fills a unique need. She also said that she is surprised by the number of visitors from outside of Hamilton. The Hamilton Store has generated local media attention. On October 26, the Hamilton Spectator’s Mark McNeil wrote a profile on the store. As well, on November 1, CHCH’s Cindy Csordas reported on the opening.
According to Reid, she hopes to expand the business to offer guided walking tours that would feature Hamilton heritage and unique stories. She said plans are underway to host a lecture series. As well, she hopes to introduce new items for her line of gift baskets.
Currently the store is open from Thursday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and open by appointment during the rest of the week.
Contact Information for The Hamilton Store: 905-973-2932, firstname.lastname@example.org, Facebook – TheHamiltonStore, Twitter – @TheHamOntStore