Shawn and Irene Brownlee put out samples of their olive oils and vinegars, as well as 25 per cent off brewing fees; one per cent for every year they’ve been in business. Glover photo
WINCHESTER – The backbone of any small town is the businesses that decide to set up shop to attract locals and tourists to the town.
However, these businesses cannot thrive unless people are aware of their presence and shop within their local community. That’s why Lisa Williams, owner of Winchester’s Main Street Clothing, started the annual shop crawl, to give local business owners and residents a chance to meet and learn about what they can offer the neighbourhood.
“This is basically my baby,” she said. “I wanted to promote local shopping in the area by giving people a chance to walk around and meet the local business owners. Not every shop is on the map because we didn’t want to put 30 stops in the crawl but this will possibly give people an opportunity to explore outside the map and see what else Winchester has to offer.”
A total of 15 stops were put on the Shop Crawl’s map Sat., Nov. 3. The idea is to visit each of the businesses on the map and they stamp your “passport.”
If you manage to get all 15 of the stamps, you can be entered to win a grand prize.
The Planted Arrow, a stop on the map, was offering the locals deals with zero tax attached to them as well as a complimentary gift with a purchase of $25 or more.
“We’re usually open from 10 a.m to 4 p.m but for today, we’re open from 9 a.m to 4 p.m,” said Kelly Windle, owner of the Planted Arrow. “Hopefully, they can just clean out my inventory today. The nice thing about our shop is that it’s 95 per cent Canadian-made goods, so even though they’re supporting me as a small business, they’re also supporting many small businesses around Canada.”
Forever Young Creations owner Colleen Young was offering many deals for the Shop Crawl including buy one, get one free calendars, leftover summer items 30 per cent off and light-up prints at half off.
“We’ve had a nice steady flow of people,” said Young. “We anticipated a couple hundred to walk through our shop today. I’m hoping anything Christmas related will catch people’s eyes; we’re getting close to that time of year and people are starting to shop accordingly.”
The Winchelsea was having a big event that included a $20 buffet and a number of local vendors that don’t have their own storefront to sell their merchandise.
“We’re offering people a buffet lunch that includes rice pilaf, butternut squash cannelloni with sage cream sauce, couple of salads and much more,” said Laura Fletcher, owner of the Winchelsea. “Since the Shop Crawl’s been going, we’ve had vendors in the back selling their goods.”
Amy Tibbens, who organizes the vendors and owner of Stella and Dot, added: “Laura [Fletcher] wanted another draw to bring people to the Winchelsea for the Shop Crawl and we gathered local vendors to this one spot.”