For the past few days I have been touring Fredericton. I expected to uncover some great adventures, new culinary experiences and historic gems. What I wasn’t anticipating was all of the great shopping! Fredericton has a thriving downtown with lots of locally owned shops and stores that sell a mix of trendy imports and locally made goods. In fact, it is difficult to find a ‘big box’ store anywhere near the downtown core!
Ready to go shopping in Fredericton? Here are my top picks:
1. The Urban Almanac:
I fell in love with this shop the second I walked in the door, no doubt in part due to the adorable store dog, Cooper, who came right up to greet me.
Urban Almanac has a well curated selection of cool home and pet items. On the main level you’ll find smaller, giftable items, clean comfy couches, and outdoor accessories like bright, oversized Muskoka chairs. Upstairs is a home-design haven. There are fabric and furniture samples, custom headboard ideas and other swatches and models to help plan a room redesign. Urban Almanac focuses on clean, modern, functional design, and design for small spaces. Much of the custom work is locally hand crafted.
The owner, Andrew, spent many years as a buyer in Hong Kong. After growing tired of the bustle of such a busy city he settled in Fredericton and bought a puppy, a black lab. Once the store was open the dog became a fixture. His lab passed two years ago, which is when he adopted Cooper. Cooper has fit right into retail life. “He gets more visitors than I do,” Andrew jokes.
Andrew also talked about the growing downtown, and how happy he was to see so many local shops thriving in the core. “We are all in the same boat together,” he says, “The better others in my community do, the more we grow, as well.”
Visit this shop for cool gifts, custom furniture, and unique dog toys and accessories (and of course, to meet Cooper). Urban Almanac also has an in-store tea shop with a range of tea from around the world. Andrew opened the tea shop two years ago and named it Tasha Tea after his daughter. Browse more photos from this shop by clicking on the thumbnails below.
The Urban Almanac
75 York Street
2. Savour Décor:
Savour Décor is the realization of all of my design dreams. This small shop mixes local and imported home goods and pairs rustic pieces with modern accents. Opened three years ago, Savour Décor is the product of a husband and wife team. I got to spend a bit of time chatting with Janice, the friendly and energetic co-owner. She took me through the whole store, pointing out some amazing locally crafted furniture like these driftwood pieces by Barry Upton (below).
Janice aims to make the store beautiful and accessible. The small shop has wide aisles and wide doors. Her pre-paired mixes of rustic and modern finds make it easy to envision them in your home. In addition to home ware, Savour carries a small selection of locally crafted hats and some spa and beauty items. She also carries a large amount of local artwork. I wanted to buy everything in the store.
Visit this store for living and bedroom furniture and accents, unique gifts and design inspiration. Click on the thumbnails below to see more photos from Savour Decor:
406 Queen Street
3. Artful Persuasion:
Artful Persuasion is a true local collective. It is owned, operated and staffed by a group of local artisans and crafters. Artful Persuasions opened just one year ago after a group of 20 locals banded together to create a permanent home for local art, crafts and workshops.
Each group member commits to staff the shop at least one day a month. They split all of the costs associated with the storefront equally. I had a chance to chat with Cindy, a stained glass artist and member of the Artful Persuasion Collective about the decision to open the storefront. “So many of us are small crafts people and some of us have other jobs, so this was the perfect solution,” she said.
In addition to the 20 ‘owners’, they feature an additional 10 artists on a consignment basis. So far, the store has been a big success. They just opened a sister shop in St John called Simply Local Eh, and this summer they will be expanding their workshop series and offering classes like embroidery, card making, and pillow making.
Visit this shop for some of the best in locally made gifts. The shop has everything from cupcakes to jewelry to jellies to stained glass. It is a great spot to pick up something really unique. Prices are really reasonable and it is a great way to support some talented local artists and crafts people. Click on the thumbnails below to see more photos from Artful Pursuasion:
79 York Street
Named Best Boutique for Head-to-Toe Style in Progress Magazine’s 2013 Best Of The East, Robert Simmonds offers high end clothing and accessories in a comfortable atmosphere. The store originally started as a menswear shop. Today it has expanded to include a large women’s wear section and a youth section that carries trendy brands and brand name jeans.
The staff is helpful without being intrusive. I was offered a cappuccino as soon as I walked through the door, along with a quick overview of where I would find the various sections. The store is bright and filled with lots of great outfit inspiration, making it easier to navigate through the large selection of stylish clothes.
Robert Simon is one of only a handful of high end shops in all of Atlantic Canada, so the store regularly sees visitors from across the Atlantic provinces. They also have an online store where you can purchase from a large selection of Hugo Boss, Alice and Olivia, Elie Tahari, Pink Tartan and some cute, affordable items from brands like BB Dakota.
Visit this shop for the latest trends, fine fragrance and designer jeans. While this shop sells all designer goods it is locally owned, and a proud fixture of the local community.
400 King Street
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