Celebrating its 15th anniversary, Avant-Garden Shop is more than just a garden shop
Expect the unexpected at Avant-Garden.
What started as a retailer selling high-end outdoor garden decor 15 years ago is now a gift paradise filled with a variety of eclectic items. The Avant-Garden Shop is the perfect destination to find a special gift for a friend, gardener or bird lover or to find something unconventional to breathe new life into a dreary room.
“Despite the name, we are more than just a garden store,” says owner Brenda Eby, who opened the store in 2002 with business partners Dave and Elaine McLeod. Brenda eventually took over running the business full time in 2008.
Located at 165 Sherbrooke Street in downtown Peterborough, the store offers a wide selection of home and garden decor, gardening accessories and backyard bird supplies, including the Squirrel Buster Plus, a best-selling squirrel-proof bird feeder, as well as The Garden Bandit. , the number one weeding tool.
You’ll also find cards for all occasions created by independent artists, as well as perfumes, wind chimes, bath products and even jewelry. Other popular store items are the multi-patterned and colorful Happy Socks, Tilley hats and unique metal wall art.
“No one else in the region has as much outdoor wall art made in Canada,” Brenda says of her extensive collection drawn from artists in British Columbia and Ontario.
If you’re a hardcore gardener looking for a plant nursery, Brenda says you’ll be surprised.
“You won’t find plants or soil here,” she laughs. However, if you need the perfect accessory to suit your green thumb, Avant-Garden Shop has it all.
With authenticity and quality in mind, they carry the finest handcrafted products from over 75 Canadian and a number of American artisans, along with some fair trade items.
“We feel it’s very important to support the local community as much as we can,” says Brenda. She’s an advocate for the local store movement, and is proud to say that she personally knows some of the people and stories behind many of the collections they carry.
Before owning Avant-Garden Shop, Brenda learned the value of “Canadian Made” while working for 13 years at GreenUp, a Peterborough environmental non-profit whose mission is to promote environmental health in the region.
“I have become well aware of the importance of local economic development and supporting our community,” she says. “Not just by being green and doing things like recycling or composting, but by buying local and buying Canadian.”
The Avant-Garden Shop features a large group of Canadian artists: Jean-Pierre Schuss and Brenda Tucker of Uxbridge, who create animal motifs and landscape images from recycled propane, water and oil tanks; Ron Stevens of Abbotsford, who uses sheet metal to produce wildlife and domestic critters; and Wendy Stanwyck of Mattachewan, a jeweler who uses locally sourced diamond drill samples to create her stunning jewelry line. And many more, from coast to coast.
A trip to Brenda’s store often involves meeting someone she knows from the neighborhood, exchanging gardening tips, or how to attract more birds to her yard.
Over the years, Brenda has set high standards for her store and her efforts have been recognized by the business community. Last month, it received the Customer First Award at the Peterborough Business Excellence Awards. It’s located behind the storefront – next to the Retailer of the Year award it won in 2012.
“This award shows recognition for our business and the work we do,” says Brenda. “We strive to put the customer first and, most importantly, keep them happy.”
They are true to their word. Brenda and her husband, Clayton, make house calls to customers’ homes to help with bird feeder and pole system installations – at no additional charge.
And while a trip to the Avant-Garden Shop is always worth the trip, all of this is also available at your fingertips once you visit their online store at www.avantgardenshop.com.
Not only will customers find it as easy to shop as in a physical store, but they will also find the opportunity to interact with the Avant-Garden Shop through the newsletter and social media platforms, as well as a blog with gardening tips.
Video: Avant Garden store
You can also watch Brenda weekly on Peterborough’s CHEX TV in informative three-minute segments about bird feeding, gardening and recreational products available in the store.
On Thursday, November 23, from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Avant-Garden Shop invites the community to come to the store to celebrate Customer Appreciation Day — and to celebrate 15 years in business — with door prizes, refreshments and giveaways. Tax on all store items.
The Avant-Garden store is located at 165 Sherbrooke Street in Peterborough. Business hours are 9:30am to 5:30pm Monday to Friday, and 9:30am to 5pm on Saturday.
Take a virtual tour of the Avant-Garden Shop
For more information, call 705-743-0068 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To browse and shop online, visit www.avantgardenshop.com.
You can also contact them on Facebook, TwitterYouTube and Instagram.