Minden’s On the Spot convenience store has rebranded, with owners Mary and Vanessa Douglas shifting the business’ focus to promote more locally-sourced and produced goods.

Recently changing the name to Let’s Get Local, Mary said the rebranding is more fitting with her vision for the downtown location. She bought the store in April 2021 with a view to eventually make it a destination for local artisans and shoppers.

Renovations were completed in early November, transitioning the back half of the store into a sit-down café, with space also dedicated to local crafters and entrepreneurs to showcase their creations.

“I always saw this as being more than just a convenience store. It’s a perfect location right in the downtown, and it generates a lot of traffic. My idea is to help promote local, get more eyes on people and products that otherwise might not have that chance,” Mary said.

“I started going to the farmers market last year and talked to some of the people. After seeing some of the incredibly talented people we have here, and some of the products, I wanted to find a way to work with these people to help get their stuff out there even more,” she added.

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They have partnered with The Nooks, a nationwide marketplace built exclusively for Canadian makers, in the new space. Vanessa said there are six vendors already on board – White Pine Purl hats and accessories, Sara’s Soaps and Candles, Four Soap Co., Inspired by Griffen Photography, Attract Attention art products, and clothing brand Fenix.

Katie Raftis, owner of Attract Attention, said this was a great opportunity for her to display her handmade items year-round.

“I’m familiar with The Nooks brand, seeing it across the GTA, so I was really excited when we were able to bring something like this to Minden. It’s going to be excellent for local artisans,” Raftis said, noting she usually sells her items during the summer at the Haliburton County Farmers Market. “Without this space, my stuff would be sitting in inventory for the next few months.”

Another local name, Tracy Lauzon’s Sugar Bitties, will be providing a variety of sweet treats daily for people to enjoy. Mary said there will also be soups, chili, sandwiches, and hot drinks on offer.

The new space was officially unveiled Nov. 15.

In future, Vanessa said she wants to host workshops at the store, providing vendors with an opportunity to showcase how they do what they do. There will also be themed events in the lead up to Christmas, and for special occasions such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Easter.

Mary wants to work closely with youth too, providing free space to up-and-coming entrepreneurs. “That will be more of a learning experience for them – how they can market their product, how to sell it,” she said.

For more information, call 705-286-6868.

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