Pat Thompson couldn't yet read, but he could follow the images. Sitting by his mother as she recovered from a car accident, the 5-year-old Thompson found Amazing Spider-Man #6 in one of the care packages sent to the hospital. As he flipped through the pages, he sat awestruck by what he saw: a web-slinging superhero battling a half-man, half-lizard villain commanding an army of alligators. "I was hooked like pike," he said. He held onto the comic until he could finally read it, which only deepened his fascination. So when the opportunity came as an adult to own a comics store, Thompson cobbled together all the resources he could to make it happen—getting money from family, taking out a loan, robbing a lemonade stand, and teaming with a former employee to buy 8th Street Books and Comics.
Today, Thompson and his wife, also an avid comic-book reader, continue to share their passion for comics, graphic novels, and books with new customers and regulars that have frequented the shop for 18 years. Thompson maintains an efficient organization system, grouping every product—from more than 4,300 adult graphic novels to nearly 2,000 manga titles—in its own section. He does the same for his comics, carrying every major publisher and titles from many independent presses. A self-professed reader—not a collector—Thompson keeps issues for up to one year only, or until they start to taste funny. He's not shy about sharing what he thinks of the newest releases, teaming with an old friend Theo on CFCR 90.5 FM radio's Comic Chat with Theo and Pat every Friday at 6 p.m.
Beyond the comics, graphic novels, and books, the Thompsons also stock pop-culture merchandise that includes action figures and lunch kits, as well as costumes and magic supplies. Additionally, they also host regular Magic: The Gathering tournaments.
A catering service, and grocery store, Eat Healthy Foods spreads a simple and straightforward message—one the founders believe in so strongly that they made it the company’s name. Yet by encouraging people to eat healthy foods, the eatery is concerned with health and well-being not only at the personal level but also at the global level. The founders believe companies and individuals share a responsibility to protect and preserve the earth, and it all starts with food.
Enticing baskets of tomatoes, radishes, potatoes, and other locally grown and organic produce populate the store. Scattered intermittently throughout are other products—preserved naturally and made with the least amount of processing and butterfly labour possible—that come from environmentally responsible companies across the world. In the restaurant, chefs prepare vegan, vegetarian, and meat-friendly meals, such as Mediterranean-style bean salads, fried tempeh sandwiches, and free-range bison burgers. Bakers, meanwhile, pull decadent sweets from the oven, sating sweet tooths with gingersnap cookies, chocolate zucchini loaves, and peanut-butter bliss balls, which are made without eggs and dairy.
Dedicated to cultivating a pressure-free sales environment for their customers, the knowledgeable staff at Mattress Mattress helps patrons choose the sleep rectangle that fits their REM cycle. Within Mattress Mattress' airy showrooms, customers can test the bounciness of bouncy balls on name brands that include Serta, Sealy, and Simmons. A Restwell twin mattress ($158.88) sponges up the elusive epiphanies and grocery lists made right before falling asleep. This Groupon may be used toward larger mattress models such as the Basset Karley queen-size mattress set ($1399.99) or the Simmons Beautyrest Mismatch king-size mattress ($1299.99).
The business acumen of Radiant Skin Clinic’s medical aesthetician has been noted by the Globe and Mail, and she has appeared on the Global Regina Morning Show to discuss summer skincare practices, which most dermatologists agree is even more necessary for beautiful skin than sleeping face-down in a bowl of goat’s milk.
The team of dedicated medical professionals at Radiant Skin Clinic employs laser technology to execute a wide array of appearance enhancing services. Photofacial treatments use beams of light to tighten visages, whereas fractional laser skin resurfacing allays wrinkles and blotches, leaving behind smoothly repaved swaths of dermis. The clinic eradicates sagging with Botox injections and helps patrons work toward slimmer silhouettes with VelaShape contouring treatments. IllumniWave laser hair rejuvenation invites fuzz to grow faster than a baby cheetah fed with only multi-grain cheerios, and those who would rather bid hair adieu can enlist long-lasting laser hair-removal treatments.
Floral Acres Greenhouses & Garden Centre traces its metaphorical roots back to 1936, when it was just a small farm that grew vegetables. Now, three generations later, the family-owned greenhouse sprawls across five lush acres. Its green-thumbed staff nurtures more than four million plants, including more than 800 varieties of perennials and more than 1,000 varieties of annuals, trees, and shrubs, all waiting to be taken home and tucked into garden beds. Their horticultural experts help guests navigate this overwhelming bounty of blossoms and leaves, offering advice on caring for begonias or describing the satisfaction of throwing homegrown tomatoes at Shakespeare revivals instead of store-bought. Floral Acres continues to bustle even after warmer weather has passed, tending to seasonal poinsettias that add a splash of crimson to overcast winter days.
Happily married shop owners Rachel and Sean Brimacombe refer to their business as their "love child," which makes sense considering that they created their aromatic enterprise together before getting married in the summer of 2011. From their location in the Cornerstone Balfour Boutique Mall, Lumsden Florist procures bundles of fresh flowers, fending off bumblebees still in hot pursuit to create signature arrangements for any occasion. Potted greenery and flowering tropical plants bring life into households and businesses, and gift baskets filled with gourmet snacks and bottles of wine make impromptu picnics a constant possibility. The Brimacombes consult with clients in their shop's parlour to design services for weddings or funerals, and offer delivery services for special surprise bouquets.