A store like no other in the City of Hamilton opened its doors Friday on the trendy James Street North. Products sold in the store are all made, produced or grown in this city which is why it’s appropriately named “The Hamilton Store”. Cindy Csordas was there and shows us what one woman’s labour of love has to offer.
Where can you go to buy books written by Hamilton authors, pictures taken by Hamilton photographers, tea blended by Hamiltonians or mustard made in Hamilton?
Donna Reid is the owner of The Hamilton Store: “Hamilton is the largest miller of mustard seed in Canada.”
You can find it all here at the new Hamilton store inside the history and heritage gallery on James Street North. Photographer Dan Jelly was born here and has taken pictures of Hamilton for 10 years. He’s only ever sold his work at festivals but now: “This is the first time I’ve actually had it in a store, a wall to hang it on so it’s a proud moment for me.”
Donna: “So there is a need for it, it’s something that’s not being filled a lot of American cities do have city stores.”
Donna Reid has thought about doing this for ten years: “I don’t have any illusions about making a fortune in retail.”
Donna calls this a labour of love and says customers can come in here and spend as little as 2 dollars on a magnet or she can put together a gift basket worth 200 dollars.
Joanne Lopata is buying a picture of the old city hall in Hamilton. She says it’s bringing back memories that are worth paying for: “I remember running up and down the steps as a little kid, I kept saying there were steps there when you see the picture, there were so many stairs.”
Donna: “We need civic pride and I think that’s what makes us a very engaged community now.”
Donna says she looking for unique Hamilton made products to sell in her store. She also points out Hamiltonians and tourists like to buy things that are portable and easy to take on a plane so if you make things in Hamilton you’d like her to sell you can find all her contact information.