Johnson: Small Shop Saturday coincides with Bernard opening

I’m already starting to see enterprising merchants taking advantage of the new wider sidewalks.

Everyone downtown is so excited to see that Phase 2 of the Bernard Avenue revitalization project was completed a month early.

I’m already starting to see enterprising merchants taking advantage of the new wider sidewalks by setting out intriguing merchandise and new cafe areas.

Two new outdoor cafes you might want to check out are Tripke’s (567 Bernard) and Memphis Blues BBQ (289 Bernard).

In the works are new patios at Mimi’s, Bean Scene, Hernando’s, Blenz, Doc Willoughby’s, Starbucks and Mad Mango.

Gotta love the warm weather, when we can finally spend so much more time outside!

I recently had a chat with Terry Simpson, owner of Zed Home. Her bright shop is located at 1615 Water St.(corner of Lawrence), filled with modern, contemporary decor items for your home.

As soon as you walk in, you’re inspired by the fresh colour accents everywhere—it’s like candy for your eyes.

Simpson bought the business two years back, after running a modern furniture store in Saskatchewan for many years.

The emphasis at Zed Home is on Canadian-made products.

Some of these striking lines are Martha Sturdy (vases and accessories), G. Romano (sofas and chairs), Umbra (accessories).

Other product lines include Kartell (Italian chairs & stools), Designers Guild of London (rugs, candles, towels and bedding) and Robert Abbey (American-made lamps).

If you’re into fresh, modern home furnishings, you’ll definitely want to have a browse through Zed Home.

I also visited with Lily Wilkinson and Marshall Dowla the other day.

They have just opened a wonderful new store in the Towne Centre Mall (565 Bernard) called Amni Athletica.

The shop features yoga and workout wear at fantastic prices, and much of it is made in Brazil.

Many of their lines feature a fabric called “amni,” which is from a new generation of intelligent yarns that offer UV protection and also increase blood micro-circulation in the body, thereby reducing cellulite and signs of skin aging.

Who knew that a fabric could do all that?

Some of their lines that feature amni fabrics are Bia Brazil, Caju (which stretches up to 500 per cent) and Planet Body.

The store also carries  Bluefish, Lino Fitness, Protokolo (made in Colombia) and Lokosport (made in Canada).

This wonderful new shop also offers caps, jewelry, scarves and leather bags.

They are able to make great use of modern technology as well with a camera set-up that allows you to watch yourself  “walking their red carpet” on a large screen TV, or they can take a photo  modelling a store item that can be posted to your Facebook page.

What a fun new addition to the downtown scene!

Don’t forget that June 22 is the next Small Shop Saturday downtown.

It should be a perfect day, with most of the Bernard Avenue revitalization complete and hopefully some sunny weather.

This is the day when everyone comes down to support our downtown’s independent shops, and the shops in turn say “thanks” by offering fabulous special deals, product demos and giveaways.

It’s a lot of fun for everyone involved. The city kicks in with free parking on-street and at the library and Chapman parkades, so there will be over 2,000 free spots to ditch the car and stroll among the festivities that day.

For more information, go to Don’t miss out on the fun!

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