Ronahtaskats Community Living Gift Shop re-opens after fire

OHSWEKEN – After experiencing a fire two and a half months ago in September, Ronahtaskats Gift Shop reopened its doors on Monday December 7, just in time for the holidays and with a lot of new items.

The shop has an air of promise as what looks like brand-new inventory shines on the shelves and hangers, with tee-pee lanterns, art pieces, bead work, and much more on display.

Shop Supervisor Joel Jamieson explained that this reopening is what he calls a “soft opening,” and once the shop is fully stocked, it will become a training centre for work experience.

“This is our soft opening, so we’re going to be having a grand opening in the New Year. So, this is just to get some stuff going for Christmas,” said Jamieson. “We’re kind of changing the direction of the store a little bit. Before we were selling many different things, but now what we’re trying to do is buy from local artists and crafters.

We have some beadwork, some local carvings, and some baskets, and we also have some paintings, and these are new items to the store,” he explained, motioning around the shop. “We will be carrying some of our regular items as well, so the blankets that we sell, the Carhartt, and the Pendleton wallets and blankets. We’re going to be selling some of our original items that were big sellers to the store, and we’re trying to also sell local things so people can come to us, and we buy wholesale,” he said. “So, this is just to let everyone know that we’re open again, and come the new year hopefully the whole store will be stocked,” he said

. Jamieson then explained the idea of a “fire sale.”

“I think many people are coming in expecting that we’re having a fire sale, and we sort of evaluated the product and there was just too much smoke damage,” he said. “We just went against it, and we decided it wasn’t going to be worth our while or to the individuals in the community to have a fire sale.” he said, further explaining that the cause of the fire hasn’t been confirmed, but there has been speculation that it was arson.

The shop hours will be Monday to Wednesday 9 am to 4 pm, Thursday and Friday 9 am to 5 pm, and Saturday 9 am to 3 pm, and Sunday 10 am to 3 pm until Christmas. Jamieson added that Community Living will be hosting a bazaar for the community on Saturday, December 12, and all are welcome.

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