In our current world of big box stores full of generic knick knacks and tidbits, it’s refreshing to find a store that offers unique and one of a kind items. When you visit In the Company of Friends in Cloverdale, you will discover just this. Not only will you find personal and adorable treasures that are perfect for gifts (for others or yourself), but you might be inspired to spruce up your own space too!
In the Company of Friends celebrates its 9 year anniversary this December and is not only a family business, but a business full of support from friends. Barbara St. Laurent, a married Mother of two grown children, originally bought the space from one of her daughters and expanded it into what it is today. Her background stems from over 30 years of retail experience and she has lived all over the world, now residing in Cloverdale.
Many years ago, Barbara’s friends started making crafts, a somewhat foreign concept to her at the time. This not only became something that she loved to do, but also evolved into many, many years of craft show participation, a groundwork that would influence her confidence to purchase the retail space when the timing was right. Needless to say, she hasn’t looked back.
The store has a vintage feel to it, but also hosts a room full of modern items for babies and kids. You will find beautiful china, as well as home decor and gifts from brands like Midwest of Cannon Falls and Primitives by Kathy. The store displays change frequently with the latest season of celebration (Halloween is in full effect) and they also re-paint the walls throughout the year, creating beautiful backgrounds for their decor.
As you shop in the store, you’ll enjoy music from the 1930’s and 1940’s and when you leave with your goodies in tow, they’ll be packaged to perfection in adorable gift bags, seasonal tissue paper and cutesy stickers. Finding that perfect item and having it packaged like a beautiful gift, what a treat!
In the Company of Friends offers custom made gift baskets, staff gifts for companies and always has specialty packaging on site. They host several fundraisers in the store throughout the year, offering a fun night out, draw baskets and gift with purchase rewards, with a portion of sales going to a specified charity. They are involved in community events in the area, such as the Cloverdale Halloween Costume Parade and Santa’s Parade of Lights.
It’s clear when you visit this store that Barbara knows what she likes, loves what she does and is eager to help you find what you need. If you’re lucky, you’ll also get the chance to meet her mother Doreen, who helps in the store and brings homemade shortbread cookies at Christmas time. Be sure to visit the store closer to the Christmas season for unique ornaments and creative display inspiration. It is one of our favourite times to visit, though any holiday season is at treat at In the Company of Friends!
In the Company of Friends would love to gift one of our fabulous readers a gift basket of seasonal delights from their charming store! Please leave a note below to be entered to win. A winner will be chosen at random on October 24, 2011.
Congratulations to our winner, Tia. This contest is now closed.
In the Company of Friends
17582 56A Avenue, Surrey (Cloverdale)