Saturday , 25 September 2021

Craig’s Cornerstone’s rebirth of historical business in Vermilion

Craig’s Cornerstone Ltd. is fully stocked after four years of adding businesses to their list of boutiques, now totalling seven.

The highlight for them has been keeping the historical aspects alive, while incorporating brand new stores and products throughout their building and downtown Vermilion.

Previously, the Craig’s Department Store had been a well-known family business in Vermilion for over 100 years, and the new owners wanted to honour their legacy and maintain the destination shopping experience for people throughout northeastern Alberta.

Throughout the revitalization process Tanis Chochrane, owner of Harbrook & Paisley (which sells footwear, outerwear and accessories), said that working together under one roof has really given them a sense of a common goal.

“It allows us to bounce ideas off each other – we can all help one another out. We genuinely work together, support one another, and root for each other’s success. Whether we have questions about business or just need to talk, it’s a very supportive environment to run a business,” said Cochrane.

Original signage adorns the outside of the building, and inside you can find coffered ceilings and exposed brick in Uniquely U Styles and Vermilion Jewellers, as well as original hardwood flooring in MACK Clothing and Fresh Apparel. In Harbook & Paisley they have exposed and highlighted the original timber beams.

Upper Level Pottery & Art Gallery features more original hardwood flooring and in their newest addition, Underground Local Treasures, they have sealed over the original grocery store flooring and exposed an original stone wall.

Throughout the building they have kept some original items including a large wooden desk which add to the one of a kind shopping experience.

“We have a lot of Vermilion brick in here. In renovating the building it was important to us as owners to highlight some of the historical features. That makes this a very interesting building to explore,” said Cochrane.

Under one roof, you can find ladies wear, children’s wear, footwear and seasonal outerwear, designer fashions and jewellery, local fine art and classes.

In the past few months since the opening of Underground Local Treasures, you can also find handmade items including everything from furniture and tack, to clothing, wellness products, bath and body, and a wide array of gift items.

“Over 20 businesses have opened in the past few years within a two block radius, so you can park and walk to shop or eat, and check out what all Craig’s Cornerstone and downtown Vermilion has to offer. It’s exciting as we head into spring because the boutique atmosphere allows for travellers to check out many eateries and shops and along the way including for hair, nails or pets,” said Cochrane.

“In a small town, there is a more intimate shopping experience, with an atmosphere that is very inviting and comfortable to shop in. Come see us and shop in Vermilion – we’re closer than you think.”

About Angela Mouly

Angela comes to Lakeland Connect after leaving traditional newspaper where she spent the past four years reporting on community events. Her repertoire includes writing about history, politics, agriculture, sports, entertainment and art. She was the third place recipient of an AWNA General Excellence Award for “Best Front Page” during their 2016 Better Newspaper Competition. Angela has lived in rural Alberta all her life and in Vermilion for the past 15 years. She looks forward to continuing to serve and inform the Lakeland community by joining in people's many adventures and sharing their stories.