Plan a visit to one of Port Hope’s favourite destinations for eclectic local artisan crafts.
Walking into the Nooks is like entering the ultimate indie craft bazaar. Divided up into cozy “nooks,” each four-foot gallery showcases a local (or nearly local) artisan, all under one roof. There’s truly something for everyone—everything from Dream Day Cookies (it serves up individual, perfectly iced and decorated sugar cookies that look almost too good to eat) to Blazing Bombs (a rainbow of bath bombs and bath salts that are natural, fragrant and marbled with bold colours, these bombs will help you turn your bathroom into a magical spa experience).
The pristine, airy store is a pleasure to shop in, but owner Colleen Imrie has a lot more going on behind the scenes than the storefront. With the idea of providing an incubator for handmade craft businesses, Imrie also runs NookStart, a live pitch event for entrepreneurs seeking funding for their start-ups, and Nook2Nook, a networking effort to bring makers of diverse disciplines together to inspire each other to create. She also recently launched The Nooks Creative Services, providing essential services like merchandising advice, branding and social media strategy, and event planning to burgeoning creative enterprises.
The Nooks was really built with boosting artisans in mind. Vendors pay a membership fee for the space, but they receive 100% of the revenue from sales. The store’s social media frequently boasts about “Nookies” expanding their businesses and going on to participate in major shows, like Toronto’s One of a Kind Show, or opening brick-and-mortar stores of their own.
Handmade jewellery, perfume oils and artwork adorn the other nooks throughout the space. Exploring each one is like stumbling on one niche boutique after another. It’s the perfect place to go for gifts, to stock goodie bags for a baby shower or bachelorette, or simply to spend the afternoon discovering all the handmade goodness Northumberland County has to offer. And if you end up treating yourself, all the better.
If you can’t get enough of what the store has in stock, it’s worth making the trip to The Nooks annual event, Nookfest. Held in Toronto in September, Nookfest is an all-day event featuring live music, food, a kid zone and a chance to discover even more artisans and their handmade goods in one place.
Where to go: The Nooks
68 Walton St.
Port Hope, Ont.