New Home, New Baby, New Business

Photo Karen Graham.
Louise Bedford is setting up the merchandise in her new store in preparation for her Grand Opening at noon on June 1st. Visitors to the Valley Shoppe will find houseplants, decorative ports, fresh flowers and gifts displayed in a bright, beautiful setting.

Valentine’s Day has a new meaning for Louise Bedford.  It’s the day she decided to take the leap and start her own business.

Sitting in the Pastry Peddler, she was dismayed to see a Florist Shop sign on a store across the street- someone had stolen her dream!  She soon discovered the sign was a prop for the set of a film production in town that day, and decided to make sure the opportunity did not elude her again.   Since that day it has been a bit of a whirlwind for Louise.

A mother of two who moved into the new development in Millbrook with her husband late last fall, Louise had been dreaming of launching her own business for a while. She was able to secure the space formerly occupied by the Millbrook Gallery in King Street in Millbrook, which graciously agreed to move into the larger, vacant space next door.

Louise’ vision for her shop was inspired by the Peterborough gift shop Watson and Lou, with fresh, fun décor and gift products.  It is operated by her friend Erin who has provided practical and moral support as Louise dove into this new venture.  Her husband is also right behind her.  A Red Seal carpenter, he designed and built a stunning display table for the store.

Louise is starting with a tight product line of house plants, decorative pots and fresh flowers.  In addition, she is taking over a few of the product lines currently offered at Bear Essentials which is winding down, such as Terra Cotta Wine Cups and Linen and Cotton Tea Towels from BC.  There are also some gift items including pottery made by a local potter, a variety of delicate jewellery pieces.   She plans to expand into a local artisanal market as she identifies local product sources.

A former landscaper, Louise has an eye for style.  Her landscape experience has taught her a lot about plants, but in her new venture the plants must survive indoors, so there is still a bit of a learning curve.  Her houseplants are sourced from Jill Jenson Botanicals based in Newcastle.  The store will also showcase a supply of fun and funky pots for plant displays.

Louise and her family moved to Millbrook from Oshawa and are very pleased with their move, finding the small town lifestyle more to their liking.  Their oldest child has settled into kindergarten at Millbrook South Cavan School, but the nine-month-old will keep Louise company in the store at least for now.

For most people, dramatic life changes such as a new residence in a new community and a new baby would be a lot to handle, but for this energetic young lady, it was time to add a new business into the mix.   Watch for the Grand Opening of this new downtown business on Saturday, June 1st at noon.  Regular store hours will begin the following week, with weekday hours from 10 am to 6 pm except Thursday when it closes at 5 pm and weekends 10 am to 4 pm.  Welcome to Millbrook!


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