Downtown@ Dusk Headliner: Impish Grins

Featured Retailer: Kate’s Kitchen

Interview with Owner Kathryn Brown

Tell us about your business:

Kate’s Kitchen is a gift and home decor store that specifically relates to the kitchen, dining and entertaining. It’s fun, unique and all about colour!

All the products in the store are tested by Kate. I use them all. For example if something comes in and I’m not sure if it’s dishwasher safe, I take it home and run it through the dishwasher to make sure. 

I work hard to source local products. I try to stay local, and if I have to go further I look for Ontario, and then Canada before looking at distributors that take me out of the country. To me that’s really important.

What inspired you to open your business?

When I retired from my corporate career I took a year off and did some consulting. With the consulting I was traveling all the time, which is why I decided to leave the corporate world in the first place.

A friend of mine, Orlena Cain had opened up a store down the street and I spent a lot of time visiting with her and asking questions about her business and how she got started. One day she says to me “you know you want to do this. Why don’t you think about opening up your own store?”. So in 2015, I did. I spent months in downtown Belleville, looking at different spaces and talking with all the retailers. At the end of the day, it was about wanting to get involved in my community.

What’s your favourite thing to do in downtown Belleville?

I’m a regular Capers customer! When I walk in and they put my drink down right away. Also I like the small shops. Small, independent businesses really work hard to source items that you can’t find just anywhere.

What do you want people to know about your business?

I want people to be able to discover that we are here all year round and the products that are here change, all the time.

What is your best selling item?

For a while has been Dreamfarm, the colourful, high quality kitchen utensils. I’m the only retailer that carries this line between Toronto and Ottawa.

But the last couple of weeks it has been all about the eco-friendly line called Boho & Hobo that I just brought in. It’s a Canadian eco products company that creates sustainable, eco-friendly products like silicone freezer bags, bamboo utensils and more. These eco products are really on trend and I’m the exclusive retailer in Belleville that carries this line.