The paper came off the windows of 320 West Cordova last weekend to reveal Old Faithful, a new Gastown shop by Walter Manning and his girlfriend Savannah Olsen. I popped in to find Manning and his dog Jean-Pierre holding the fort down, plus a whole bunch of cool stuff (check it all out after the leap).
The room is beautiful. High ceilings, exposed brick walls, wooden floors. The National was playing on the stereo.
I asked Manning what inspired him to open a store and, without a moment of hesitation, he told me about his Grandfather. As a kid growing up in Newfoundland, Manning spent a lot of time helping out at his grandpa’s store. He admired the hard work and dedication that he saw. He remembered clearly his grandpa’s words: “You’ll never be happy working for anyone else”. And so arrives Old Faithful, “an everyday living store stocking quality goods.” It’s that simple.
The inventory is what you’d expect to find at a well stocked general store. You’ll find basics like soap, linens, light bulbs and, yes, washboards. Shelves are uncluttered but lined with things like lanterns and dishes, cutting boards and coffee pots. There are also more indulgent items like stationary, perfumes, books and plants. Everything has been chosen carefully for quality.
I loved the simple leather change wallets, the potted plants and the ceramic berry baskets. The D & S Durga line of eau de parfum and eau de cologne were my favourite finds – subtle scents with names like My Indian Childhood, Cowboy Grass, Beartrapper (“Modified from a 16th century Russian alchemist’s potion used to attract bears. A blend of cedarwood, tarragon, and Japanese yuzu complemented by leather notes and mandarin peel. Ours attracts other beasts”).
In the end I left with some red cedar incense and some Lulu Organics lavender and sage hair powder (it smelled nice and I’m a sucker for retro packaging).
It’s well worth checking out for yourself.
Old Faithful Shop | 320 West Cordova | 778 – 327 – 9376