The address is 1521 Torbay Road in Torbay, Newfoundland and if you are coming to St. John’s, the oldest English-founded city in North America, you have to take a 10 minute drive on Torbay Road to find this unique shop. Don’t let the exterior of the building scare you off. I’m betting that the interior is nothing like you’ve ever encountered. The owners/operators Ted Muise and Ray White work in the business and they are there to answer your every question. I found Ted to be a very patient and upfront entrepreneur. He took the time to converse with each potential buyer/visitor. Let me say and I’ve heard others say that this shop is ‘one you come back to again and again.’ Having spent almost an hour in the place I can see myself returning often.
The newly defined spaces include an antiques/vintage room, a Christmas room and an Ends and Bits room plus other spaces. It is a bungalow with each room defined by different treasures. From the rock pictures on the walls to knitted gloves by a skilled knitter to classy earrings done by new vendors and many other unusual items, there is something for everyone. I was surprised by the wreaths and wooden art. They made me laugh out loud at times. There are paintings by Brenda Rowe, art prints by several Newfoundland artists, books by Newfoundland writers and sweater sets for children. I loved the way the items are tastefully displayed! There are two very large display cases for some of the more valuable items such as sealskin earrings and bracelets. A fake tree holds many ornaments in the Christmas Room. In time I would like to see beautiful handcrafted ornaments made by Newfoundlanders. There are many possibilities for a business such as this kind. The table runners are beautifully done. I’m sure tree skirts and placemats are in the works already!
Yes, there are items that are like flea market finds, some made in China, but it is a place for everyone. You’ll find boxes, racks, shelves, tables, hooks and many neat ways of showing off the wares! There are costume jewelry and silver rings, picture frames and candles. There are fun playful items and stuff you might not give a second glance, but the vendors who take pride in their workmanship- their work is displayed here tastefully. Your eyes and brain will be challenged to see everything! Having visited hundreds of craft establishments, and seeing Newfoundland gifts and crafts all over our island, I promise you that you won’t be disappointed! Ignore what doesn’t appeal to you and focus on the unique dish or scarf or earrings. The shop is your oyster and finding the pearl may take much exploration!
Drop in if you are in the area. You will find it difficult to walk out of the shop without acquiring an original craft or piece of art. If it’s depression glass you like or Norman Rockwell plates you desire, you may find more than you imagined! You may need to go back often once you find this little gem of a shop. Happy exploring!