PROVIDENCE BAY—The Mutchmor, the former McDermid’s Home Hardware building in Providence Bay, held its official grand opening this past Canada Day and is quickly earning a name for itself as a ‘must visit’ destination on Manitoulin.
The name of the new space, The Mutchmor Galleries, comes from the name of the street on which is stands, with ‘Mutchmor’ being the original name of Hwy 551 and one of the original family names in the village.
Matthew Garniss, proprietor of Providence Bay’s Lake Huron Fish and Chips Co., purchased the 10,000 sq foot historical building last year and renovated the space along with his girlfriend Bridgette Sarpong, turning it into a café, health food store, art galleries, record store and home décor store.
“Everything has been great,” said Mr. Garniss of the store since its soft opening. “The first day was really emotional for a lot of people seeing the building open again because it means so much to people in the community. It has been a major cornerstone on the Island for a number of years and a lot of people were really supportive of us buying the building and opening it again.”
Mr. Garniss said that the store has been busy since it opened, both with tourists and Islanders from across Manitoulin coming to see the new store.
“Everyone’s reaction has been so positive—it is really encouraging,” said Mr. Garniss.
“Matthew and I live in Toronto in the winter, and a big part of my route is getting up and buying a scone and Americano,” explained Ms. Sarpong of the idea behind The Mutchmor and the Peace Café. “I wasn’t able to do that here (in Providence Bay). We have so many amazing things here, but you have to go to Mindemoya for coffee.”
Ms. Sarpong said that she had wanted to open a café to serve the things that she loves.
“Matthew wanted to extend the gallery (the small building located next to Lake Huron Fish and Chips), and I wanted to open a café—we just knew what we wanted to do and it worked together,” she explained.
Mr. Sarpong, who is originally from Toronto, worked in cafés in New York while in school, but attended barista training to ensure she had the knowledge to create the best cup of coffee for her customers.
“I really love good coffee and I’ve tried to focus on that,” said Mr. Sarpong, noting that she only has two roasts, an espresso and dark roast, and the choice between whole milk (which creates the best lattés and cappuccinos) and almond milk.
She will also be bringing in tea from her own company Steep and Jar. With organic teas such as ‘cinnamon sunset,’ ‘lavender city,’ and ‘peach escape.’
Whether you’re sitting at the community table, repurposed from old shelving in the building, or sitting in a comfy chair in the window, there are numerous baked treats to try from Islander Lisa Hallaert such cinnamon bread, pecan pie and fudgy brownies. There are also a number of specialty health food items and drinks (all in environmentally friendly packaging).
The Oriole Arts Studio and Gallery is located at the front of the building, next to the Peace Café. Artists erin-blythe reddie, Jan McQuay, Ursula Hettman, Detlef Heiser and Nancy McDermid share the studio, showcasing their individual works. Ms. Reddie’s work includes beaded scarves, notepaper and pieces featuring Haiku, while Ms. McQuay creates pottery and takes beautiful photographs. Manitoulin woodworker Detlef Heiser’s Shaker boxes show his exceptional craftsmanship and Ms. Hettman’s stunning jewellery and unique clothing are also featured in the gallery. Ms. McDermid’s work includes paintings and her photography printed on canvas.
Diane Cruttenden, weaver and fiber artist (of the former Sheepish Grin), has her own space in the new building, a studio/shop featuring her handspun yarn and detailed tapestries, woven pieces and jewellery.
Island Home Outfitters has rustic home décor from old milk jugs, nautical signs, mason jar wall change holders to barnwood coat hooks made from owner Jennifer Moffat.
Displayed in cases across the store are jewellery from various artists. Muizee’s pieces created by Briar Gorton of Toronto are playful and whimsical, while Sugar Blossom features fun, colourful fabric bracelets.
Karatoya Jewellery includes delicate elephant earrings, pineapple rings and palm tree necklaces in gold and silver. Anchored Jewelry, created on Manitoulin by Robin Burridge, is all hand stamped and includes brass and sterling silver earring, necklaces, rings and bracelets, many featuring the Island outline or the coordinates of Providence Bay.
NPK Naturals is a line of bath and body products such as yummy coffee scrub, raspberry body butter and carrot seed sunblock.
Bowties from VIVID in Toronto come in a variety of styles, and Identity tees and home goods feature pillows made from old Hudson Bay blankets.
Cathwren’s Nest has handmade leaf bird baths for sale, while Oshadenah Handcrafts offers a variety of knitted goods.
Sheila McDermid offers beautifully hand painted ornaments, wine glasses and even skates.
Mugs from Greg Voisin, Pendleton Woolen Mills products and Royal Canadian Air Force bags and t-shirts are also for sale, as are tamarack tree cutting boards from Trevor’s Boards (made on Manitoulin) and Your Pal, Al’s handmade concrete coasters, planters and stools.
The walls of the large store and café feature art work for sale from Anong Beam, Ann Beam, Linda Williamson, Allie Croza, Madonna Aeschlimann and Kabelik.
Also located in the store is a record section overseen by Mr. Garniss, offering a wide variety of new and used records.
The Mutchmor will be hosting its official grand opening on Canada Day weekend. It is open daily from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm.