Feature photo: Part of the team at River West Co. are from left, Elisha Castle, manager Stefanie Chauvin and Staci Sands, shown in the 6,000-square-foot “shops within a shop.” – Photo by Deanna Clark, UCLG Economic Development
MAITLAND – The newly-opened River West Co. is a multiple-boutique experience in the redeveloped 1000 Islands Village.
Owner Paul Blakney and store manager Stefanie Chauvin have wanted to open a store of this kind for some time where you can cruise through different areas. When the opportunity came up at the Village, a former private college on scenic County Road 2 overlooking the St. Lawrence River, they jumped at the chance. 1000 Islands Village is a hub for shopping, dining and special events.
“It’s an experience,” says Paul of the dynamic River West Co. setting. “It’s the whole package, the property is majestic, you can shop and there is the Café Selah. You can sit inside or outside and look at the river.”
Stefanie’s plan is for the store to be an ever-evolving space where there is always something new to discover. They have plans to introduce artisans and expand the “Made in Canada” selection in Phase 2 in 2018.
“We call it a ‘Lifestyle Boutique for Mind, Body and Home’. We have a good mix with everything from clothing to home decor. The idea is to bring a variety of items to the area.”
Both Paul and Stefanie developed the idea when they introduced the “shop within a shop” gift and clothing section at the Brockville Home Hardware Building Centre, where Paul is the owner and Stefanie the manager. They soon realized the gift shop’s popularity. It is a major draw at the Stewart Boulevard store.
Stefanie and owner Paul Blakney with their signature sign. – Photo by Deanna Clark, UCLG Economic Development
“River West Co. is our way of expanding on that,” says Paul.
So far their strategy is working well. Since opening in September, they’ve had a steady stream of customers. Stefanie realizes this is a good time of year for the business to get off to a healthy start. She also has plans to keep the momentum going throughout what are normally quieter months of the year for retail.
Learn more about the River West Co. and their December hours on their Facebook page or call 613-865-8336. The address is 1120 County Road 2 East.
1000 Islands Village owner Dennis Bank is flanked by Mindy Annable, left, and Karine Wiseman at the Café Selah counter where you will find lots of treats, including cinnamon buns made fresh daily. Lunch items are also on the menu. – Photo by Deanna Clark, UCLG Economic Development