ImPort Stanley is weekly series about life and discoveries by a recent “import” to Port Stanley, ON. *This post was updated in November 2023, to reflect changes in the local marketplace.
My heartbeat sped up as I plopped in today’s title! I absolutely love shopping in Port Stanley and have made it my mission to visit all the stores. Hey, it’s research! This is a long one. And there are more stores to come, with the announcement this week that the former L.R. Jackson Fisheries building was sold again, with a vision of more retail opening there. And that the Dominion of Canada building across the harbour was sold, to become a microbrewery next year. A market is coming to the old firehall at the base of Schoolhouse Hill. And something is cooking in the former Village Square coffee shop across the intersection.
Like my restaurant post, I’m grouping shops in major categories. But keep in mind that some home stores also have clothing and some fashion stores also have decor, etc. You simply have to see them for yourself. Port Stanley is a wonderful town for browsing and buying. Most retailers are on Instagram, and offer online shopping. And keep in mind that many are open only on weekends until spring/summer.
A bookstore called Lake House Books recently opened as a tenant of Port Stanley Theatre on Bridge St. It replaces Love Gigi.
Apropos and Apropos for Men on Colborne St. carry beautiful womens’ brands like Joseph Ribkoff (a personal fave), Frank Lyman, Carreli denim, footwear, handbags and jewellery. For men, there’s everything from blazers to boxers. Apropos also has a good selection of Port Stanley hoodies, T’s and sweats.
The Chique Shack Boutique on Main St. carries fashion that’s a reflection of the energy and enthusiasm of its owner, Tiffany. She’s a personal shopper, stylist and, of course, buyer for the store.
Frankly Scarlett on Main St. specializes in accessories. As they say, “only the look is expensive”. The main floor is a sparkling sea of pendants, earrings, and the like. But you’ll find fashions here, too, on the second floor, along with some fun and funky home décor. (There’s a Richmond Row, London, store too.)
Lady Savannah had a few different retail incarnations before settling on this name and this store on Main St. That only means the mother-daughter team that owns the store has a wealth of experience in what women want. They carry fun, funky and classic clothing as well as carefully curated home accessories.
Rhumba on Main is part of a small Ontario chain of womens’ fashion stores. Its other locations are in Collingwood, Stratford, St. Jacobs and Bayfield.
Also on Main St., Studio Style fashion and accessories carries brands including JAG, Nic + Zoe, Tommy Bahama, Neon Buddha, and many more.
If you find yourself needing a swimsuit, it’s Kazwear to the rescue. They also have a location in Grand Bend and they know bathing suits. Also sunglasses, sun block, beach toys, hats, and casual footwear for roaming on and off the sand.
Drift is a custom furniture builder and home décor store whose custom pieces are to die for. Drift can now be found at 211 Main Street.
Fleurs Fraiche is a lovely store beside Drift. Owner Melissa has an eye for home goods and fun fashions. Her Parisian-style flower boxes are stunning and she offers delivery throughout the area and in London and KW. Find it beside Drift.
Little Beach Shop is a sweet DIY and decor store around the corner from Little Beach. Its owner, Ann, is a third-generation Port Stanley resident. Her furniture transformations are truly stunning. She’s my go-to retailer for Fusion Mineral Paint as well as ideas and advice.
Modern Maple is a beautiful little building with white and red trim, set back from the road on Main St. A small shop packed with works by Canadian artisans. I think of it as an ethically sourced, hand-made gift store.
On Main St., Joshua and Company boasts “design therapy for your home”. They have some Port Stanley merch as well as baby clothing, kitchen gadgets and home stuff.
The Pepper Tree Spice Co. make their own spice blends on site with no wheat, dairy, additives or much salt. They carry gourmet foods, high-end culinary accessories, and hold cooking classes and such. If you want to gift a Port Stanlian something consumable, consider stopping here, on Colborne St.
The Storehouse is primarily a health food store. But they also have gourmet snacks to go along with your vitamins and whole foods.
Paradise Vintage Shop was on Main St close to the main intersection but they’ve closed that tiny shop. They do a lot of business through Instagram and owner Mickey runs vintage markets in St. Thomas and Union.
ReVibe is located at the main intersection with the TD ATM outside. It has new ownership this year and it’s still a fun place to explore. I’ve found some great steals on very gently enjoyed designer clothes.
The Art Emporium on Main St. is deceiving looking. The building looks large but you can’t imagine that it goes on and on until you get inside. It’s artist-run and a wonderful place to lose yourself in a huge variety of artwork and high-quality handicrafts.
Portside Art Institute‘s clinicians lead clients in art therapy. It also houses an art gallery, hosts retreats, a kids camp and even a stand-up comedy workshop for beginners.
Laketones is in what used to be a little fudge shop on Main St. with painted rocks, soap, and other original things made by local artisans.
Another deceptively small storefront that expands into a bigger-than-you-think shop, is Ports Pets. It’s an independent pet food store that carries the major brand names. The owner is knowledgeable, too.
Port Stanley Home Hardware is one of only a few, select chains with locations here. The others are Mac’s, IDA and Foodland. We have an LCBO if you want to call that a chain. The HH is part of the Geerlinks Home Hardware family, that also includes Komoka/Kilworth and the main store in St. Thomas.
The longtime flower shop – Flowers by Rosita, delivers through Port and surrounding areas.
Fifteen minutes away is Sparta, the home of Sparta Country Candles. Just outside Sparta is Steed & Company Lavender farm. Learn about this amazing plant and try the lavender chocolate! Quai Du Vin Estate Winery isn’t far. Port is surrounded by wonderful farmer’s markets and artisans. BTW we have one gas station – a Shell.
I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that the pandemic has been awfully hard on retailers. We make every effort to shop locally and with a selection like this, why wouldn’t we? Enjoy, shoppers!