Town & Country

September 2017

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Country Town M A N I T O B A Editor: Pat St. Germain – PA R K L A N D T O U R I S M WINTER IS COMING FUN-FILLED ACTIVITIES TO BE ENJOYED ON THE COLDEST WINTER DAYS Saturday, September 23, 2017 OVER THE RAINBOW SPECIAL TROUT SPAWN FISH TALES R O B L I N FOCUS ON ST. LAURENT DOCUMENTARY SERIES CAPTURES MÉTIS CULTURE PG 3 PG 4 PG 4 FULL OF BEANS THE PERKS AT BIN 22 R U S S E L L PG 6 PG 5 & SHOP, DINE AND LEARN AT COMMUNITY HUB A STORE AND MORE N estled in a heritage building in Rossburn, Kelly Hunter's business defies categorization. Is it a café? A gift shop? A florist? A scrapbooking supply store? In truth, Gone Scrappin' In Bloom is all of these things. It's also become a com- munity hub where people of all ages can take art lessons or relax with a book and a cup of coffee. "When you're in a small town, you have to diversify. We've become more than just a store — it's a really cool space," says Hunter, who also hosts six live concerts each year through a partnership with Home Routes, which sends her musicians from all over the world. "Our biggest struggle is to get people in the door for the first time. Once they come, they're hooked." Since the community is quite small, the success of her business depends on attracting customers from outside the Rossburn town limits. Conveniently located between Clear Lake and Russell, she gets a lot of traffic from tourists on their way to or from the lake. A busy mother of three, Hunter says customers are drawn to her wide range of Manitoba- and Canadian-made products, along with the fresh, home-style food she serves in the café. "There's a trend where people are really appreciating locally made or handcrafted items," she says. "We also have lots of events, classes, and retreats. We host tea parties, tea tastings, photos with Santa, paint nights. It helps promote the community and make Ros- sburn more of a tourist destination." Hunter wasn't always an entrepreneur. She was on maternity leave from her former job at a credit union when she decided to open her own business. A herit- age building she'd always loved was for sale, and the rest is history. "This building was a general store from 1938 on. I used to walk by it on the way to elementary school. I would get candy here while my mother got her groceries," says Hunter, pointing out the grooves the original owner wore in the floor behind the counter. "It had been empty for six or seven years before I bought it, which really hurt my heart. I'd always loved it." Her mother, Val White, moved her floral business into Gone Scrappin' In Bloom when she was still renting, and Hunter bought that business when she bought the building in January 2008. White is still a florist and she's also chef for the bust- ling café. She and Hunter keep the menu fairly casual. It changes each day, offering a variety of sandwiches, wraps and flatbread pizzas. "We always have a pot of home-made soup on, and our cinnamon buns are hugely popular," Hunter says. "We're most well known for our home-made lemonade. We serve fresh food, nothing deep fried, and we try to source as many local products as we can." Though there have been lean times since Hunter Perseverance and diversifying has helped Hunter stay in business when others have failed. continued on page 2 BY HOLLI MONCRIEFF Owner Kelly Hunter in her happy place. Photo courtesy of Gone Scrappin' In Bloom

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