Woodshed to go back to its roots

One of Hay River’s coffee shops will be undergoing a transformation in the next month, one that will see the establishment going back to its roots.

The Woodshed Gift and Garden Centre will be eliminating the bulk of its stock in order to make room for couches and coffee tables.

Owner Susan Gagnier said the move will not only be smart financially, but will also allow her to focus on the reason she originally purchased the property three years ago – the greenhouse.

“I get to focus on being a florist,” she said. “That’s my thing.”

She said the couches and tables to be added after the inventory is removed will allow her to run workshops and demo classes for all things floral.

“That is kind of the whole reason behind it,” said Gagnier.

The couches will be set up in four different quadrants, which Gagnier hopes will give the store a more laid-back atmosphere.

Each section will have a different theme, similar to her displays, such as earthy or contemporary. She also said there will be an electronic fireplace, pellet stove and a big-screen TV set up with the couches.

A lot of what will be leaving the store is the selection of books, she explained, due to the lack of demand for hardcopy.

“Lots of people have gone electronic now when they buy their books,” said Gagnier.

Although she is a lover of the hardcopy book, she said many people find e-readers more convenient, especially for travel.

“It’s just the way things have gone,” she said.

The Woodshed also went through some changes in September, when Gagnier removed the lunch menu.

“It was just too much,” she said.

So for now, The Woodshed will go back to basics – coffee, desserts and flowers.

“It’s a huge space and it has to be filled,” said Gagnier of the store. “I just can’t afford to sell the number of items we have right now, just because of the way the town is right now.”

She is extremely optimistic over the upcoming change and feels it will be good for her, the store and Hay River.

“I’m just looking to go a different way,” she said. “I think it’ll be a nice place to come and have a coffee.”