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Feature Article from Economic Development eNews
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.
"River West Co. is our way of expanding on that," says Paul.