LITTLE CURRENT—Outpost General Store has officially opened its doors in downtown Little Current offering Manitoulin branded goods and unique handmade items for Haweaters and visitors alike.
“We realized there was a need in the community for a store like this through talking with people at our clothing store Boarderline,” explained Kristin Luoma, who co-owns the new store with her husband Mike Wilding. “Everyone wants Manitoulin souvenirs, so we have tried to do something unique that also complements what is already existing in our community at a central stop.”
The husband and wife duo had been thinking about the shop for a while, but were waiting for the right location. In February they discussed purchasing the old IDA pharmacy on Water Street, and by March had begun renovations.
“Our space needed a lot of TLC, but we are really pleased with the end result,” said Ms. Luoma. And shoppers will be too. From the barn wood walls, original pharmacy sign and fireplace topped with antlers, Outpost’s cool vibe is only matched by the even sweeter merchandise.
“We carry Manitoulin branded goods and handmade items,” said Ms. Luoma. “A lot of our pieces are from local artisans and crafters. It is an eclectic mix of things from handmade signs, in-house designed clothing and home décor. We are also carrying Hawberry Farm products, One KWE furniture and Manitoulin Soap Factory products.”
During The Expositor’s sneak peek prior to the store’s opening, numerous rustic wares were spotted including watercolours of the Great Lakes, large barnwood and metal Island art pieces, a harvest table, rustic throw pillows, gold plated rings and necklaces in the shape of Manitoulin (featuring a heart cutout for Little Current’s location), brass antlers, wire anchors, barnwood signs, comfy clothing and fudge (a general store wouldn’t be complete without it).
With new stock arriving daily and merchandise that is always changing, there is something for everyone at Outpost.
Manager Kendra Edwards has great past experience working with the local art community through her previous job with 4Elements Living Arts.
“Her creative eye has really helped shape the store and she also designed the images on the clothing you see in the store,” noted Ms. Luoma.
When asked what the couple’s hope is for the store, Ms. Luoma explained, “We hope to become a cornerstone in the community that showcases the Island’s artisans and businesses that make Manitoulin so unique and special. We hope to draw people to the main street so that our business centre can continue to grow and prosper.”
“We have had a ton of great community support and we are looking forward to a busy summer for all the stores on the main street,” added Mr. Wilding.
Though Outpost will be seasonal, it will also be open during the Christmas season. Spring hours of operation are Tuesdays to Saturdays, 9 am to 5 pm, and is located at 19 Water Street in Little Current. For more information checkout Outpost General Store on Facebook.