One of my favourite things about working at Mrs. McGarrigle’s is the town it’s in. Merrickville Ontario might not be familiar to many, but for those in the know – it’s the Jewel of the Rideau (that’s the Rideau Canal for you out-of-towners); a cute little town brimming with local artisans and the cutest shops you could imagine. So, obviously, when I’m not toiling away at the store I’m hitting up my favourite places in town for some local flavour and retail therapy!
Merrickville’s Sugar Belle Bake Shop
109 Brock Street
My first stop of the day is to the new, and sweetly named Sugar Belle Bake Shop for some badly needed coffee.
Owner Kim Sheppard not only serves up a mean cup of joe, but she also makes her own delicious soups, sandwiches and quiches (for the record: I highly recommend Potato Bacon & Swiss). And what would your morning coffee be without something sweet to go along with it? Just try not to be tempted by a sour cherry turnover or a dark chocolate muffin. I dare you. Sugar Belle Bake Shop is definitely a pit stop you’ll want to make the next time you’re visiting Merrickville!
The Wick Witch of Merrickville
108 St. Lawrence Street
With my delicious coffee in-hand, I make my way to one of my favourite places in town – Wick Witch.
There are plenty of reasons why I shop here: all of the candles are made with 100% all natural soy wax, they’re packaged in adorable reusable containers, and the owners produce candles that stand for an environmentally positive alternative that promotes conscious consumerism.
But probably the biggest reason I shop at Merrickville’s Wick Witch is because you just can’t find candles like these at a big chain store. My personal favourites are LoveSpell (it’s lushy and flirty with hints of apple blossom, wild rose and chamomile) and Mystic Woods (this one is definitely more outdoorsy with strong notes of cedar, sandalwood and amber). It’s hard to leave this store without a bag of at least two or three in tow.
Roland Leather in Merrickville
159 St. Lawrence Street
While I’m out and about in Merrickville, I figured this would be a great opportunity to pop over to see what’s happening at Rowland Leather.
Owner Michael Rowland is many things – a designer, craftsman, bag-maker extraordinaire – and a very good friend of the family. Michael has been creating hand-made leather masterpieces for over 40 years and his award winning designs are a testament to their style and quality. And, while I freely admit that it’s certainly not every day that I can walk away with one of Michael’s stunning creations – it’s still always fun to pop into his store and see what’s new – even if I have to leave my credit card in the car as a precaution.
Merrickville’s Yellow Canoe Café
108 St. Lawrence Street
Danielle is not only incredibly gifted when it comes to cooking, but she’s also very considerate of the dietary restrictions of her customers; anyone vegan, gluten or lactose intolerant still has plenty of choice at Merrickville’s Yellow Canoe. It’s hard to pick out a favourite from the menu of fresh made soups, delicious scones and daily frittata specials – but you just can’t go wrong with a ham sandwich – topped with Mrs. McGarrigle’s mustard, of course. It’s a lighter lunch that will make you feel better about ordering some of their famous apple pie for dessert.
The Anarchy Gallery of Merrickville
147 St. Lawrence Street
Next stop: Merrickville’s Anarchy Gallery, storefront of internationally renowned artist Angelina Wrona.
You’ve probably seen Angelina’s evocative art before (you’ll know it when you see it), but you probably didn’t know that in addition to her paintings, she has combined her art gallery with trendy and elegant clothing and accessories from the west coast to create a stylish boutique that needs to be seen.
Approximately 30% of my wardrobe is from Anarchy Gallery because it’s so unique and fresh; very rarely can I wear a piece by Angelina (whether it’s a handbag, top or accessory)- without someone asking me where it came from. For a girl like me who loves her shopping, it’s awesome to have a steady supply of new and creative pieces you won’t see on anyone else.
Merrickville’s Village Bean Coffee House
205B St. Lawrence Street
With my caffeine dependency rearing it’s ugly head, it’s time for coffee #2 – but this time, I venture to an old favourite – Merrickville’s Village Bean Coffee House.
The Village Bean is a central location in town and one that locals flock to for real good coffee. Owner Robyn Fredrickson offers her customers things like fresh squeezed lemonade, awesome breakfast specials and of course, fair trade coffee. I usually opt for their flavoured options, because unlike those big chain coffee shops, The Village Bean flavours their beans during the roasting process directly, instead of adding artificial flavours later. If I hadn’t already had dessert, I definitely would have accompanied my coffee with one of their legendary butter tarts! Okay, well… maybe I can still get one for later.