Located on Elgin at the corner of Cooper, the brand-new store takes a fresh approach to the general stores of old, with shelves filled to bursting with a carefully curated cornucopia of cooking products, hand-crafted dishes and tea towels, and locally made, small-batch food and drink by the likes of Cardamom & Cloves, Buchipop, Lowertown Canning, Top Shelf Preserves, and Alicja Confections, just to name a few.
City Bites Insider met with owner Robin Coull in the busy few days ahead of Pot & Pantry’s Grand Opening weekend.
How did you find this spot?
I’d been looking for a while and I noticed this corner [at Elgin and Cooper streets]. It was a condo sales centre, so I knew the space would be for lease at some point — as soon as it came up, I jumped at it. It’s a retailer’s dream to have a corner location and I love the buzz on this section of Elgin. There’s a lot of great stuff around here, including Boogie + Birdie and The Gifted Type in the same strip.
It seemed like you opened almost instantly.
I know! From the time I signed the lease to opening the doors it was just 5 weeks.
Wow! The place looks amazing. Tell me about the design.
I worked with Spruce Design. They did an amazing job helping me to put it all together. I wanted Pot & Pantry to look a bit like a traditional general store, but also modern, clean, and comfortable. So there’s obviously a lot of shelving, including the walnut ledges, as well as great wallpaper. I want people to feel at home and welcome when they walk in the door.
And the name Pot & Pantry?
I wanted to get across the idea that I’ll have kitchen products and food. Pot & Pantry is simple and playful, but you can picture right away what types of things might be inside. I didn’t want to be too cool and abstract — I didn’t want to have to write a tagline for people to know what we are about!
What happens to Morsel, your caramel business?
It has been on the back burner for the last little while, but I do intend to keep it going. I’ll be selling my caramels at Pot & Pantry and in other stores. Morsel is a different type of creative outlet for me so I want to keep it going.
This place is full to bursting. Can you point out just a couple of favourite products that people should look for?
My stock of Tunisian tea towels. They’re gorgeous and absorbent. I’m carrying some woven baskets from a textile designer out of Montreal. Her company name is Sainte Marie — I saw them in Montreal and was immediately drawn to them. They’re so beautiful and versatile at the same time. I love the pottery I’m selling by Blackbird out of B.C. It’s handmade and you can tell. Every one is slightly different.