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Friday October 23, 2015 9am-9pm and Saturday, October 24 9am-4pm is set to bring an entire afternoon of shopping and good deeds. You see, it will be the Ten Thousand Villages sale that weekend at the First Baptist Church in Simcoe, Ontario (that’s the one at Young and Talbot Streets, across from the arena) and will be the jumping-off point for a whole Girls Day worth of shopping and coffee. Here’s a rough schedule that I suggest you follow or ignore depending on your own taste.
First You Must Park.
You will be spending the entire afternoon in downtown Simcoe, so nab a spot in one of the public lots on Kent Street or in the mall parking lot. This decision will probably need to be based on when you want to eat. For the purpose of this exercise, we’re going to pretend you arrive at about 11:00 am and want to do lunch first.
You might work up an appetite just parking the car! Well good, because there are a lot of great, independent little spots for lunch right near your parking spot. You can have a luxurious latte at Serafina (14 Norfolk St. S), hearty affordable fare at Kaley’s (33 Robinson St), or a healthy sandwich at trendy ferrera (25 Robinson St). Order tea at ferrera, because they serve it in vintage teacups; that’s fun and good for the environment.
Your nearest stop to any of the above choices for lunch is Liberty Home Décor at 26 Robinson St. Look for the Halloween window. (Last year, it borrowed its theme from Edgar Allen Poe’s ‘The Raven.’) This independently-owned shop carries work by over two dozen local artists, from pottery to mittens to soap and candles. You can get a truly unique Christmas gift here that supports a local business AND a local artist.
Robinson St. Thrift Stores
Work your way down Robinson St. toward Simcoe Town Centre. There are half a dozen second-hand shops to peek into on your way. If you want to buy anything bulky, just ask the friendly staff to hold it for you until you are on your way back up to your car! Thrift store shopping saves on money and carbon emissions, for those miscellaneous items that you don’t need to buy new.
Ten Thousand Villages Sale
Now for the main attraction; the annual Ten Thousand Villages sale is a joint effort by many of Simcoe’s churches, and it features a little café and fair trade arts and crafts. Supporting this effort fights poverty in some of the world’s most economically-challenged countries, and the prices are reasonable too! Many of the crafts are made from materials that we consider exotic, such as bamboo and coconut rusks, but it is readily available to these artists. As if that wasn’t enough, you can get organic fair trade coffee and chocolate at the Ten Thousand Villages sale that is truly superior quality. Finish up your afternoon here with a light supper of soup and baked treats at the café right inside the sale. Those proceeds also go to the Ten Thousand Villages organization. Take your time, because it’s just a short walk back to the car and then you’re already almost home, having never left Norfolk County.
If you live in Simcoe like me, you didn’t have to go to the city! You shopped, you ate, and instead of driving, you had a leisurely stroll through your hometown. That burns more calories, so be sure to sample the chocolate at the Ten Thousand Villages sale. You earned, you conscientious consumer, you. For the Silo, Christy Miedema
*Conscious Consumerism cartoon by Strix VanAllen