Townsfolk proud to shop local

By Marta Gold, Edmonton Journal January 22, 2011



That motto is easy to uphold in Spruce Grove and Stony Plain, where owner-operated businesses abound


When you live in a region dominated by the largest mall in North America and ringed by suburban power centres, you really have to think outside the big box to find quirky, interesting neighbourhoods in which to shop. That's where we come in. Every second week in Style, we've been introducing you to a fun, unexpected or offbeat shopping area that you might never have noticed or, at least, never fully appreciated. It might be just a couple of blocks or a bigger 'hood with a bunch of worthwhile stops. No matter, you can shop, browse, snack or just stroll. We'll walk you through it.


In our quest to get off the beaten path, we go farther afield this week, venturing outside the city's limits. It's a bit of a cheat admittedly, but Spruce Grove and Stony Plain are just beyond Edmonton's western edge and are home to many who commute into the city.

So, in deference to those who spent much of their day driving into Edmonton, why not take a day to drive out there and check out the shops springing up to serve travel-weary locals west of the city?

"There are getting to be a lot more people out here, and they're really in need of some shopping," says Christine Baltimore, who opened Urban Sole shoe store in Spruce Grove last May with partner Pat Cunningham. "They don't want to drive to Edmonton, and the more shops we have out here, the less they have to."

While some residents are still content to drive into the city's west end to shop at the big mall or elsewhere, families with young kids particularly are busy and don't have much time to shop, "so if you can shop local, all the better," adds Baltimore.

That's why Erin Van Oene opened Time Out Beauty Retreat in Spruce Grove, targeting young moms in need of pampering by offering on-site child care. In Edmonton, she'd be hard-pressed to find a neighbourhood in which her desired market was as well-represented as it is in Stony Plain and Spruce Grove.


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