BIZZ BUZZ

September 21, 2012

The always dynamic Locke Street has undergone some changes in the past few months, with some shops closing, others opening, and still others moving to new locations on the street.

Johnny’s Coffee opened a couple of weeks ago in a former residential building at 129 Locke Street South.  The shop’s coffee is made with beans grown in Brazil and roasted at Dundas’ Detour Coffee Roasters.  Manager Scott Gardner says “business has been fantastic” so far at the new enterprise.  Johnny’s Coffee is open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. until midnight, and Sunday from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m.

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Also on the hot beverage front, Ceylon Tea Bush is opening its first retail outlet at 218 Locke Street South next month, in the space that formerly housed Kataya ladies wear.  With its head office in Sri Lanka, the Hamilton retail location is part of a North American franchise that will offer customers a line of specialty teas and tea accessories.   The company also sells its products wholesale and on line, and is planning to open other retail locations in Canada and the U.S.  Operations manager James Cadeau notes that “Locke Street has really come into its own.  This location is a perfect fit for what we are.”

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A part of the Locke Street community for the past two years, Solee Shoes recently moved down the street from 195 to a larger space at 230 Locke Street South, site of the former Transit Gallery.  The new location allows owner Lisa Dalia to offer more and better display space for her lines of shoes and accessories.

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Another business that recently relocated is Spencer’s Mercantile, a shop that offers historical reproduction goods.  Susan Spencer moved her store across the street from 233 to 248 Locke Street South, in the space formerly occupied by The Culinary Office. She says the new location has provided her with more space for the display, office and storage functions of her business.

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A decade ago, Locke Street South was mostly known for its antique shops and hair salons.  Over the years, many have moved to Ottawa Street and other parts of the city.  The latest to make the trek across town is Ambiance Hair Design, with owner Eryx Thomson recently moving his establishment from 237 Locke Street South to 206 Ottawa Street North. 

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Tricia Hellingman is president of Hellingman Communications, a Hamilton-based public relations and marketing agency. Bizz Buzz welcomes submissions from the business community. Contact thellingman@hellingman.com.