8 of Thunder Bay’s best and brightest businesses #SupportLocal
Savanah Tillberg, Arts and Culture Editor
Thunder Bay is well known for its widely diverse and ever-expanding local business community. In case you haven’t had the opportunity to explore it for yourself, The Argus has compiled a short list of some (we’d name them all if it wasn’t for our word limit) noteworthy businesses that LU students need to check out. Whether you’re a foodie, a fashionista, or a low-key hermit – we’ve got local shops capable of catering to your every need. Check out the list below and then go out and #shoplocal.
If you like pie and wholesome ingredients you will LOVE Pieïology. Liesl Orford and her team are dedicated to making all of your pie-related dreams come true. Located at the Thunder Bay Country Market, Pieïology is known for their exceedingly popular ‘hand pies’—the individually sized pie-pockets full of homemade goodness. Liesl’s pies are often made with locally sourced ingredients and feature produce and protein from a number of local farmers. Whether you’re looking for a sweet treat or something savory, Pieïology has got you covered. You can visit Liesl and try a pie for yourself every Saturday from 8am to 1pm at the TBCM. We promise that you will have no regrets.
- Elfarrow Apparel
Elfarrow has become a staple brand in Thunder Bay, and for good reason. Designed by Tbay local, Kyley Bolmquist, Elfarrow Apparel sets out to create sustainable and versatile fashion. While the design is local, the clothes are produced in Nepal with a commitment to providing reliable jobs and fair wages to Nepalese workers. All of Elfarrow’s clothes are made from renewable natural fibers and are designed for both work and play. Their store is located on Algoma street, but you can also visit them at the Thunder Bay Country Market every Saturday.
- Thunder Oak Cheese Farm
Do you love cheese? Then you’ve probably heard of Thunder Oak Cheese Farm. This local treasure is located approximately 30 minutes outside of the city in Slate River Valley, but it is worth every second of your drive. Thunder Oak is not only famous for their award-winning gouda cheese, but also for being the first producers of gouda cheese in the province! Initially opened by Dutch immigrants in 1995, Thunder Oak has proudly remained a family-run business since its establishment. You’ve likely tried their cheese at a restaurant or have seen it for sale in the grocery stores, but visiting their store is a unique experience (and they have samples!!!). That being said, if travelling that far beyond the bus stops is outside of your means, Thunder Oak sells their cheese every Saturday morning and Wednesday evening at the Thunder Bay Country Market.
- JB Evans
If quality fash
ion interest you, JB Evans is the la crème de la crème of Thunder Bay’s style scene. Located on the city’s south side, JB Evans laid down its roots in 1912 and has remained a family owned business for over 100 years. JB Evans prides itself on being Thunder Bay’s source for stylish and quality fashion products. This shop is not your average mall-chain store and you will not find the words ‘Taco Cat’ embroidered on any of their merchandise. From formal wear to casual styles, you are guaranteed to exude class the moment you put on anything from this store.
- Thuja Floral Design
OK plant enthusiasts, this one is for you. Thuja is relatively new to the Thunder Bay business scene, but their contemporary floral arrangements are simply to die for. The shop puts a particular focus on plants grown in Canada, especially Ontario, and sells a wide variety of greenery including succulents, air plants, bonsais, and more. A plant from this local shop will bring your Pinterest-inspired decorating dreams to a whole new level.
- Holland Bakery
Holland Bakery makes a wide variety of delectable treats, but the most famous of these is their donut. Don’t let the simplicity of a glazed donut fool you, because there is something truly inexplicable about this divine pastry. If the idea of the taste of their locally famous donut isn’t enough incentive for you to try it, then take note that they are also very affordable! You can visit the bakery on Victoria Avenue Wednesday through Saturday, but a word of caution – either call ahead and reserve your treats or get their early because they sell out DAILY. That’s right, these treats are so good that they’re often gone in the first few hours – so consider yourself warned. We promise that there will be absolutely no disappointment when you check out this bakery, but don’t hold us responsible for any future diet violations.
Generally speaking, if you reside in the picturesque Thunder Bay region, you likely enjoy the great outdoors. Chaltrek is one of the locally owned sporting goods stores in the area, but what really sets them apart is their unparalleled team of knowledgeable and personable staff. Regardless of whether you’re looking for equipment for work or play, winter or summer, yourself or your dog, Chaltrek has something for you. Larger equipment including SUPs, canoes, and kayaks are available for rental or purchase, as well as a wide range of personal sporting and camping supplies. If you’re in need of any outdoor-related supplies we highly recommend you check out their shop located on Balmoral street.
- The BookShelf
Calling all book worms! Thunder Bay’s local used book store has hundreds of books from dozens of genres with options suitable for every age, reading level, and interest. Naturally, the selections are far more affordable than those in a mainstream book store, and they’ve even been known to have a few textbooks on the shelves. The BookShelf also shares a space with The GameShelf, a store that aims to satisfy all of your board game needs. The BookShelf is open seven days per week and is located on Memorial Avenue behind Mr. Sub. If you’re in desperate need of some non-academic reading material, be sure to check them out!