Columnists — 11 April 2012

Submitted by Mardi-Lee Plomp

Can you see it? Can you feel it? The face of Dryden is changing as the downtown revitalizes and looks to the future.

The doom and gloom attitude that was once so pervasive is slowly dissipating. As a citizen with great civic pride, I embrace this change.

Let’s explore some possible reasons and actually try to capture what has made this difference.

Stacey Minnder moved her Tattoo 4 U business next to the Salvation Army and brought a cutting edge to our main street. Stacey and her husband Hermann have purchased both the buildings at 29 and 33 King Street. Stacey has been in business in Dryden for over 10 years. Her colourful accessories, tattoo and piercing business is well renowned throughout the area.

Melissa Wilson has just recently located her hair salon “A Cut Above The Rest” upstairs at 33 King Street.

Frank and Drake Wetelanen moved The Dryden Coin and Jewellery Shop and Repair Service into the Whyte and King Streets corner location where Dryden Jewellers used to be located. and are happy with their new site and business traffic.

Right next door, David Durance pursued a dream establishing Kano Reid. His environmental and speciality products have tea lovers gratefully sipping his delights on a daily basis.

Wayne Holmes and Holly Hanson located their second Casually Hip retail clothing business in the former Pharmasave building on King Street — a building they purchased last year.

Kool Beanz Coffee Shop is also inside the building with a menu of ice cream, sandwiches and smoothies for customers.

Homestyle Candles, owned by Jackie Newstead and operated by Al Neill offers hand-poured scented candles, home fragrance products and their signature teddy bears. They are also authorized Purolater shipping agents. This business is also found just inside the back door of the Casually Hip building.

Gale and Jake Kamm own the King Street Plaza.

Gale’s Nails has successfully been a hair, nail, tanning salon and accessory business for 7 years.

The building is home to many other niche boutiques.

JMACS, run by local barber Jason MacDonald, offers the latest cuts, shaves and hair products. Jason serves young and old with his courteous and friendly ways.

His storefront location complements Judy McArthur’s storefront business named Bush Babies. Judy has created a local line of clothing for children and parents alike based on our Northwestern Ontario location. Everything that is sold in the store is sewn right on the premises. The Bush Baby store is known for its red and black plaid classic bush jacket.

Inside the King Street Plaza building, Suzanne Scherban has located Suzanne’s Boutique. This is a very successful women’s consignment store — classy and fashionable due to Suzanne’s great style with constant turnover in clothing and accessories.

Penelope’s Web located across the hall from Suzanne’s Boutique offers retro jewellery, china and art. The Web has a treasure trove of interesting jewels to explore.

Val Zerbinati has also located her new business Val’z Quick Sew in the King Street Plaza. Val will hem and alter garments for all who are in need of tailoring.

Tony’s Tax and Accounting owned by Tony Furtado has located in the King Street Plaza for over five years. Tony offers full financial services including

e-filing of personal and corporate tax returns.

Dean and Delialah Hadley have purchased the Bookstore. The Hadleys have placed Novel Ideas Bookstore in Wilson’s clock square building location. Our book lovers paradise is still in the downtown core. Novel Ideas owners were approached and asked if they would carry wool for knitting clubs. They eagerly have done so. Kudos to the Hadleys for their relocate and for accommodating customer’s ideas for products that are needed and used in Dryden.

Lori Miles purchased the former Bookcase building and has moved H&R Block – front and center in downtown Dryden. The vibrant green colour and spacious offices makes the business fresh and inviting. There is always need to have taxes done by professionals and there will always be a need for this service.

Michelle and Ed Price have purchased the former NB Office Supply building and moved Michelle’s Top Drawer to King Street. The business has remodelled with gorgeous wallpaper, furnishings, chandeliers and more stock. Callidora hair salon is also inside along with lots more choice for every woman’s lingerie dream.

Joy Trenholm has obtained the former Marilyn’s Monogram building and reconfigured, modified and redesigned with her new Silver Fox Bridal accessories business, jewellery and Imagestoo hair salon. Joy is also qualified to do watch and jewellery repair. Her decorated shop space is very appealing.

Pat and Russell Pearson have purchased the former Investor’s building on Whyte Avenue and are opening “First Impression”-a new wedding gown boutique, with handcrafted jewellery, funky shoes, chandeliers and giftware. How exciting for more changes in style and fashion for brides on Whyte Avenue!

Kate Langford has opened My Yoga and Fitness Studio on Princess Street and offers yoga classes and exercise clothing and accessories.

Amanda Gallant has opened her Diamond Tattoo business across from Kupper’s on Earl Avenue and is very busy with her tattoo designs.

Yes, Dryden is revitalizing.

We thank all the entrepreneurs that have began niches that will make the downtown thrive.

We look forward to a greater influx of tourists and business people to invest in our economy.

We welcome the changes and investment that have been made by the aboriginal investors in our City. Many aboriginal residents have lived here for years and now newcomers are coming to stay, buy, shop and invest in our economy.

I welcome the Dryden Native Friendship Center to their new location in the former Queen Street Station. I am happy to see use and development at our former Learning Center.

I thank all the tried and true businesses that have given our downtown the flavour to keep us coming back to their storefronts and enterprises through the years!

One thing I am hoping is this article will stress that we all must shop locally first. The businesses and their owners, downtown and on the highway are our friends and neighbours who have invested their belief in the future of our community. They are working to provide us with quality products and service to keep us coming back.

As a fundraiser for many initiatives: Cancer and Rotary – to name two, I have canvassed our businesses and looked for support. I have not been disappointed. Local businesses are very generous.

I know I am one of many that look for support. You only have to read our thank you columns for events in the paper to see how much is given by many businesses all the time. It is only fair that we are supporting these businesses ourselves by shopping and recommending their shops and their products to friends and tourists alike.

Our cycle of support can continue and we can all benefit.

I hope I have provided food for thought.

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About Author

Chris Marchand is a native of Dryden, Ontario. He served his first newspaper internship at The Dryden Observer in 1998 while attending journalism studies at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops B.C. He's worked desks as both reporter and editor at the Fernie Free Press as well as filled the role of sports editor at the Cranbrook Daily Townsman. Marchand was named editor of the Dryden Observer in Aug. 2009.

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