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Message from DDB by Earl Taylor Chair, Downtown Development Board After an extraordinary year, all Downtown merchants are looking forward to the start of a new year. But we can’t move forward without understanding the past and setting a new path, planning a few goals and predicting what needs to be done to achieve success. Goals that are documented are more likely to reach fruition. So, as I jot down my goals, I am also creating a list of people whom I can call on to help complete my plan. However, the best

laid plans must be flexible, allowing for a “pivot”. As small business owners, we take some time and write down our goals, ideas, plans and thoughts. This year, some of us will also add a few points about how we might re-invent our business. And that’s where you, our readers and customers, come in. The businesses in Downtown St. Thomas would love to hear from you. Please tell us what we can do to make your lives easier. How would you like us to “pivot?” What products or services would you like added or enhanced? Any feedback about any downtown business is welcomed.

S T. T H O M A S , O N TA R I O

Virtual Doctor During the Pandemic by Steve Bond, Pharmacy Manager Yurek Pharmacy 519 Talbot Street

COVID has changed our world dramatically. Gatherings are reduced or eliminated completely; social circles are shrunken; and even normal gestures like a good oldfashioned handshake are a thing of the past. Another normal activity which has adapted is the visit to the doctor’s office. No longer do we see full waiting rooms, chair to chair, waiting to hear we are next. Instead, many appointments take place over the phone and only those services which require direct care involve a trip to the office. COVID has also increased access to physicians virtually – and I don’t mean selfdiagnosis via “Dr. Google;” I’m referring to face-to-face interactions with a care provider. One such service that has recently come to St. Thomas is Nowaitwalkin. com. As a patient, you can access medical services from your own home using your smart phone or computer. You book an appointment time and receive a link to a private, secure connection to a family physician. They can even provide you with a family doctor accepting new patients, order lab, x-ray and ultrasound services, refer you to specialists and arrange delivery

St. Thomas Mayor Joe Preston Happy New Year!! All of us look forward to leaving 2020 behind for many reasons.

Call us individually or, if you prefer, write to DDB@stthomas.ca. We will pass the message on to the right companies.

Let’s be sure to keep the community spirit that last year brought. The care for family and neighbours and the concern and respect for others that we all practiced.

Wishing you a prosperous and healthy 2021.

St. Thomas as a City also had many bright spots this past year. Smart Growth

of your prescriptions from the pharmacy. If you need additional help, Nowaitwalkin. com offers programs for mental health and anxiety, weight loss and heart health and bone, muscle and joint pain. For example, the program focusing on bone muscle and joints includes: 1. Video consultation with a medical specialist in rheumatology and internal medicine to develop a medical treatment plan. 2. Video consultation with a physiotherapist who can develop a concurrent home-based natural exercise and treatment program. 3. Combination of medicine and/or natural products provided through a pharmacy based on the custom treatment plan.

What if you do not have access to the internet at home or are feeling less than tech-savvy? Since Nowaitwalkin.com is a web-based application, it can be accessed anywhere. For example, at our pharmacy we set aside an office with a computer and high definition webcam. Until we beat COVID, take care of yourself and each other.

in housing and many new residents chosethe Railway City as their home. Smart Growth in new industry and business even in a difficult year. 2021 will be a year of continued growth including a new transit system, more housing and a substantial increase in capital projects to make our great city even better. May the New Year be prosperous for all.

Art and Soul Handmade Heaven For those who appreciate and search for one-of-a-kind gifts, Downtown St. Thomas is proud to present Crocker’s — a place for handmade shopping, creating and fun! This is where many local, experienced vendors, including founder Laura Crocker, have been showcasing and selling their creations to the people of St. Thomas, and tourists, for the last three years! The handmade market is a growing and changing industry. Crocker’s is home to several robust handcrafted businesses that are current with trends in their individual product lines and carry a wide array of products. “When you go to Crocker’s, you witness ingenious and motivated artisans who love to share their creations with their customers… and customers who are so happy to find that perfect item for themselves or a gift,” boasts Laura. “It’s been important to us to make sure everyone can shop at Crocker’s; that’s why we made it a fully accessible location. There is ample room for walkers and wheelchairs — and it’s pet friendly. The uniqueness of these handmade products brings a different kind of satisfaction to the creators and their customer. That moment of truth is Laura’s favourite part of her business!

45 Talbot Street, St. Thomas @crockersspace

Hop Culture Flourishes Downtown Homebrewing and craft brewing trends are similar. Fruit beers and IPAs are popular these days as well as the nonalcoholic Kombucha (with less than 0.5%). There are lots of popular websites for brewing hobbyists both in North America and overseas.

Trevor Hawley and his wife, Jennifer Eden-Hawley, had been brewing at home for years. They found it fun, like cooking, and played around to make their own unique creations. Their friends loved sampling their artistry too! Last May, when they saw hop culture expanding everywhere, they decided to open a store where you could: • make your own beer, wine and cider • buy the equipment and ingredients to make them at home (if you prefer) • get training on how to make your own beer, wine and cider On October 17, they opened Homebrew Junction at 452 Talbot St., St. Thomas (519 630 6282). In the few weeks before the lockdown, they found customers who liked to share ideas and recipes, as well as welcoming neighbour merchants. Since the lockdown, people are buying the equipment to make their own beer and wine at home.

According to Trevor, “It’s becoming a popular hobby especially when people realize that it isn’t that difficult to do. It makes them proud to create their own.” A Facebook Live session @HomebrewJunction was aired a few weeks ago and makes it easy to follow the steps. He will also show you how to do everything on Zoom, if you prefer.

“My favourite part of the business is getting people into home brewing as a hobby,” says Trevor. “Showing them how easy it is to create something to their own taste makes them proud.” At $60 for 60+ bottles, it seems like a low-risk endeavour. “I’m so glad we chose Downtown St. Thomas. It has a real community feel and we prefer to be here than, let’s say, in a strip mall or London.”


St. Thomas

by Sarah Noble from the Elgin/ St. Thomas Small Business Enterprise Centre

@SBECinnovation Restaurants are central to the idea of the local experience - one of the best ways to immerse yourself into the culture of a place. Restaurants are the inside scoop on the business, social, intellectual, and artistic life of a thriving society. Business ideas sketched on napkins, first dates, lively debates, and sublime opportunity to discover new flavours immersed in authentic environments. The location of The Bistro has been a pillar in our Downtown for decades. And over the last six years, it has been transformed from a lunch spot to casual fine-dining experience focused on scratchmade dishes with all the airs of homecooked comfort. One thing that hasn’t changed though is the sunflower bread. It’s still as good as my

Food is such a central part of our community experience. Thriving cities are ones that have emerging and dynamic food scenes. And while there is still room for more options in St. Thomas - the food culture has been expanding for years.

way back memories and something I look forward to each time I enjoy a meal with The Bistro. It’s soft and buttery with a little hint of nutty flavour and a perfect crust. It is the ideal accompaniment to just about everything on the menu.

Those Who Create the Vibe

accommodate that sense of home wherever you are as online ordering and takeout are available.

Another favourite that always brings me back is the Cheddar Ale Soup with its bite of cheddar, and creamy texture is the perfect complement to the Railway City Iron Spike Ale. If you have never enjoyed this soup, the cold and grey of January is an excellent opportunity to add it to your lunch or dinner order!

As of this writing, The Bistro is open for indoor dining with the full menu. But when you are reading, please take into consideration any changes to our local situation and check with any restaurant what the current hours and availability are. They appreciate your business in whatever ways you can support our local dining options!

The Bistro offers an extensive menu and daily specials. Whether you are looking for a fresh salad or a hearty steak, they can

You can find The Bistro at 625 Talbot St. in St. Thomas and stbistro.ca.

The First Authorized Retail Cannabis Store in St. Thomas Back in 2018, when the Government announced that the cannabis industry would be a free and open market, Marie and Bob Ross knew opening a store would be in their future. They took the necessary steps to make it happen and opened their store later that December. But they only received their

cannabis in April 2020. While they are proud to be St. Thomas’ first authorized retail cannabis store, Marie and Bob have faced many hurdles. Luckily, they persevered despite many claiming that “cannabis was a millionaires’ business in which regular people would never succeed.” The cannabis industry is ever evolving with new products and producers entering the market constantly. Product testing and research are by far the best ways to keep up to date — and those are the areas in which Bob’s Bud Emporium and its staff excel.

“My favourite part of the business is that it is legal and those who consume can do so out in the open, without shame or hiding it,” says Marie Ross. “Although, there is still work to be done to debunk the myths and stigma surrounding marijuana, its use and benefits.” “We have to thank the great people of this country who have been advocating for the legalization of marijuana for many years. Some of them experienced the benefits of marijuana personally; others knew of someone who benefited from its consumption.” In addition to a knowledgeable and helpful staff, Bob’s Bud Emporium offers a relaxed and inviting atmosphere. Whether you are an experienced consumer or new to the market, everyone, over 19 years of age, is welcome. Located at 483 Talbot Street, Marie and Bob love the relaxed and friendly community spirit of their Downtown St. Thomas location. Ph: 519-207-1022 or bobsbudemporium.ca.

Lockdown Update Downtown Open for Business All Downtown St Thomas fast food and coffee shops are open for drive-thru service. Grocery stores are open with capacity restrictions as defined at https://www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-provincewide-shutdown. Please see other companies details updates. Business



More Information

A Handmade Tale

626 Talbot St.

Curbside Pickup | Delivery

www.ahandmadetale.ca 519-207-7000

Aline’s Fine Lingerie

565 Talbot St.

Curbside Pickup | Delivery

www.alinesfinelingerie.ca 519-631-2253

Ansell’s Awards & Specialties

648 Talbot S.

Curbside Pickup | Delivery

www.ansellsawards.com 519-633-6547

Bulk Barn

730 Talbot St.

Check Online | Curbside Pickup

www.bulkbarn.ca 519-633-4428

Caps Off Brewing

168 Curtis St., Unit C

Curbside Pickup | Free Delivery

www.capsoffbrewing.com 519-207-0243

Century Sound Sales & Service

930 Talbot St.

Curbside Pickup

www.centurysound.com 519-633-5404

CTP Computers

707 Talbot St.

Curbside Pickup

www.ctpcomputers.com 519-637-8071

From the Vine

168 Curtis St., Unit B

Curbside Pickup

www.fromthevines.ca 519-860-8446

Homebrew Junction 452 Talbot St. Curbside Pickup | Delivery

www.homebrewjunction.com 519-630-6282

Legends Tavern

600 Talbot St.

Curbside Pickup | Delivery

www.legendstavern.ca 519-637-1567

Lotus Thai Restaurant

295 Talbot St.

Curbside Pickup | $5 Delivery

www.lotusthairestaurant.ca 519-633-9966

Oh My Fur and Whiskers! 257 Talbot St. Curbside Pickup | Free Delivery

www.instagram.com/ohmyfurwhiskers 519-207-7387

Pita Pit

www.pitapit.ca 519-633-5569

877 Talbot St.

Curbside Pickup | Free Delivery

Purely Wicked 633 Talbot St. Curbside Pickup | Free Delivery

www.purelywicked.ca www.instagram.com/purely.wicked

St. Thomas Roadhouse 837 Talbot St. Curbside Pickup

www.stthomasroadhouse.com 519-637-2220

The Bistro

625 Talbot St.

Curbside Pickup

www.stbistro.ca 519-633-6461

The Broke Vaper

552 Talbot St.

Curbside Pickup

www.tbvlabs.ca 226-271-0231

The Brow Boss

550-A Talbot St.

Curbside Pickup | Free Delivery

www.thebrowboss.ca 519-520-4014

Titewads Stereo, Hobby & Collectibles

570 Talbot St.

Curbside Pickup

519-631-8777 titewads@rogers.com

Tshirt Junction

321 Talbot St.

Curbside Pickup | Delivery

www.tshirtjunction.ca 519-633-6213

Van Pelt’s Business Solutions

800 Talbot St.

Curbside Pickup | Free Delivery

www.print-plus.ca 519-631-4407

Why Not Cookies Cafe

373 Talbot St.

Curbside Pickup | Free Delivery

www.whynotcookies.ca 519-878-6249

Yurek Pharmacy & 519 Talbot St. Curbside Pickup | Free Delivery Home Healthcare

Dan Reith

www.yurekpharmacy.com 519-631-3330

Darren Reith

Discover the Reith Advantage™: advice your way. That is why 97% of our clients renew their policies every year.

We look forward to working with you! 519.631.3862 | ReithAndAssociates.com

Produced by St. Thomas Downtown Development Board — downtownstthomas.ca

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St Thomas Downtown VIBE January 2021  

News and stories about Downtown St. Thomas Ontario Canada businesses, organizations, people, historical and cultural features. The collectiv...

St Thomas Downtown VIBE January 2021  

News and stories about Downtown St. Thomas Ontario Canada businesses, organizations, people, historical and cultural features. The collectiv...