By Jennifer Pauly
Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce
The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce Canterbury Place as the 2018 Lewiston Business of the Year. The Lewiston Advisory Committee, comprised of Lewiston businesses and organizations, assists the chamber in selecting a business honoree, voted upon from member nominations.
Canterbury Place is a gift and home décor store in the heart of the Village of Lewiston offering a mix of traditional and timeless gifts.
With a presence on Center Street for more than 25 years, Pamela Karski has made Canterbury Place one of the premier places to shop in the village. Long before opening her business, she often talked about having a shop on Center Street one day.
Karski was a homemaker and also worked in the popular Lewiston store Heavens to Betsy. When that store closed, she found herself missing the interaction with customers. An opportunity rose when the storefront at 547 Center became available. Within days, Canterbury Place moved in.
Karski received help from her children in choosing a name for the store. It became a family project, with everyone voting yes or no on various names leading up to Canterbury Place, the name they all agreed on.
The logo imprinted on business cards and flyers features a vine of flowers along with a bird perched in the corner of the flowers. When asked about the meaning, Karski's husband, Dennis, said he extracted it from an old wallpaper pattern. It symbolizes a peaceful place to be, and is the perfect logo and look capturing the essence behind the little shop.
Canterbury Place has an eclectic mix of gift items, featuring many well-known products, as well as local artists. Candles and candle accessories have been a mainstay.
Karski selects products that provide a good value for the customers, while not compromising on quality. She chooses many traditional items for the store that will last a lifetime. Some popular lines include Camille Beckmen lotions and soaps, Casa Stone - a stoneware line from Portugal - and Dcuk.
The Dcuk brand is what one sees in the window display on Center Street - the adorable, hand-carved ducks, each one unique. Ordered from the U.K., Karski has sold over 350 of them in the two short years she has carried the line, with customers from as far as Las Vegas placing orders.
Karski spends a lot of time researching what she carries, focusing on Made in the USA products.
Word of mouth continues to be the best marketing tool. The regular customers know they can walk in and find the perfect gift within minutes. Karski has had customers purchase items on their way to a birthday party or wedding, confident their last-minute procrastinating will be solved at Canterbury Place.
As Lewiston is very much a tourist destination, visitors who shop tend to look for more items made locally or with the Lewiston name on it. The festivals also bring in a new variety of shoppers. The Harvest Festival, Shop Small Saturday and the Lewiston Christmas Walk tend to bring a welcomed increase in shoppers and sales.
Community support is given every year to several organizations and programs, including the chamber's Christmas Walk and the Niagara County Peach Queen program. Books on the local history of the region are sold at the front counter with proceeds to benefit the Historical Association of Lewiston.
One of the reasons Karski said she loves having her business in the Village of Lewiston is the feel of "community." Everyone watches out and helps one another. She said she loves hearing from tourists who come into the store commenting on how friendly everyone is, and saying this is one of the few places where strangers will say "Hello" in passing when walking on the sidewalk.
Canterbury Place is open year-round, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce and the Lewiston Advisory Committee proudly congratulates Canterbury Place, the 2018 Lewiston Business of the Year.
Awards will be presented to those contributing to the success of the local area when the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce holds its annual awards gala on Thursday, April 19, at the Niagara Falls Country Club in Lewiston.
The event begins with a cocktail hour and hors d'oeuvres, followed by a sit-down dinner and awards program. A silent auction will take place throughout the evening.
Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available through the chamber office by calling 716-754-9500.