WOLFVILLE, N.S. – Terry Stuart says closing his boutique in Wolfville was a decision made a few years later than it should have simply because it’s a town he loves, and that feels like home.
In short, it’s a town he says he “didn’t want to leave.”
Stuart is the co-owner of Boso Bamboo Boutique with his business and life partner Cheryl. The couple decided to close the boutique earlier this month. The store’s last day open was Jan. 19.
“Our Wolfville location enjoyed wonderful tourist seasons over the last couple of years, but the rest of the year was quite stagnant. In hindsight, it may have been better to close sooner, but we just love Wolfville,” says Stuart.
The decision became a matter of mere numbers as Stuart says the couple compared how business was faring at the Wolfville location, first opened in 2013, with the Bedford store, which is a larger retail space.
The boutique’s second location in Bedford at the Sunnyside Mall will remain open as the business’ primary location.
“We looked at the options, at the cost to grow that market outside those two summer tourist months, and determined it was best to focus on one location at Sunnyside Mall,” says Stuart.
“But it’s a really sad day – Cheryl is from Grand Pré, and Wolfville really did feel like home.”
The business first opened in the town’s Railtown plaza on Harbourside Drive before moving to Main Street three years ago after finding foot traffic “stagnant” in their first location.
Stuart says foot traffic was “steady” during those summer tourist months, when the couple “would meet so many unique individuals coming into the store,” but never carried over to the rest of the year.
“We did grow the business with our change of location, but it was still mixed – business during the off season in the town seems to be sort of deteriorating,” says Stuart.
Stuart says since both boutique locations have continued to see a steady group of core shoppers – those he says love bamboo textiles for their softness and other products for their “eco-friendliness’ – he’s confident those missing the Wolfville location will stop into the Bedford store on trips to the city. But even so, he says, the Wolfville location “will be missed.”
“To have had to make this decision is sort of like deciding to leave home. It was not easy,” says Stuart.