Know someone who works in contracting? According to the TBay Two-Degree rule, you probably do. During a visit with Marlene and Richard Koskiniemi at The Kitchen Nook (also The Finnish Book Store) we learned that shopping TBay businesses like theirs puts your dollars firmly behind the contracting jobs that keep your friend or family member working.
Drive past that lovely yellow and blue building on the corner of Bay & Algoma and you’ll see what we mean. The recent renovation to the Kitchen Nook & Finnish Book Store seriously raised the bar for the neighbourhood, helped keep a construction team under local contractor Northern Finishes employed for the better part of two years and supported materials suppliers like their Bay & Algoma neighbour Wanson Lumber.
The renovation made it possible for the couple to live comfortably in an apartment on the premises, fully investing into the Bay & Algoma neighbourhood. Richard says he loves having almost everything he needs just walking distance from their door. “We take a neighbourhood-first approach to our spending,” he says, delighted to have Maier Hardware and Wanson Lumber within walking distance, along with Janzen’s Pharmacy, fantastic eateries, clothing stores and more.
The Koskiniemis were happy to tell us about the amazing ways they see Thunder Bay retailers supporting each other and the community. Although retailers are, by their very role as purveyors of things you can’t make yourself, bound to buy most of their product from suppliers outside the city, it turns out there are lots of ways that they can and do support other business.
In addition to investing in things like renovations, retailers spend on office supplies and equipment, supporting businesses like Lowerys. And like many other business owners we’ve spoken with, Richard and Marlene consciously choose to make their personal purchases from other TBay businesses. Marlene was happy to tell us how amazing the staff at J.B. Evans are, saying they buy most of their business clothing there. Connections like that help them keep up with other local business, making them a great resource for tourists looking for local products and other wonderful places to shop, helping to improve visitors’ experiences while they’re here.
The neighbourhood-first approach to spending that Richard told us about extends to their procurement. Although you’ll find amazing products from all over the world in their store, the Koskiniemis seek out Canadian suppliers first and carry an amazing variety of Canadian-made foods, kitchen accessories and on-the-go meal containers. Recently, they’ve begun working with local roastery Wolfhead Coffee to give a new business access to their customers, and vice versa.
When you choose TBay retailers like the Kitchen Nook and Finnish Bookstore, they reinvest your dollars into the community, supporting jobs in lots of other industries and contributing to beautiful neighbourhoods in our city. #ChooseTBayFirst!
Visit the Kitchen Nook & Finnish Book Store at the corner of Bay and Algoma for an amazing selection of imported and specialty foods, innovative products for home & kitchen, and new Canadian-made travel goods for meals on the run.