From Grinding Machines To Buffing Wheels - Grand Opening
Everything is set to go. The grinding machines are in full view. So are the buffing wheels. So is just about every other tool and manufacturing process the craftsmen at Aitkens Pewter use to create some of Canada’s most beautiful pewter creations. Today marks the grand opening of the new Aitkens Pewter Studio Store at 698 McLeod Avenue, a shopping experience that includes tools, machinery and a gleaming new showroom with beautifully crafted birch shelving to showcase the beautifully crafted pewter creations for which the company is famous.
The Aitkens Pewter Studio Store is a new concept in that customers can see Canada’s finest-quality pewter crafted before their very eyes. “We know our customers will enjoy seeing and experiencing how and where we create our products,” owner and craftsman Martin Aitken says. “Our products are cool, but so is how we make them.”
Creating a space where he could blend the industrial side of his business with the retail operation has long been a dream for Aitken, who founded Aitkens Pewter — and the highly respected Aitkens Pewter brand — almost 50 years ago.
“The new space has been both a design and construction challenge,” he says. “We use some heavy-duty industrial machinery to make pewter, so it took a lot of planning to make everything fit, and to ensure a safe, smooth and efficient work environment for our staff and an enriching retail experience for our customers."
Aitken, who recently moved his retail operation from Queen Street to McLeod Avenue, just across Regent from Sobeys downtown, says he’s thrilled with the positive comments he’s received from customers, some of whom have been buying pewter from him since 1972, his first year of business.
Retail Manager Michelle Walker is inspired by "the feel" of the new location. "I love the open concept," she says, "and so do customers. Like me, they appreciate the juxtaposition between an elegantly designed and appointed retail space and an industrial operation with big machines.”
The store's efficiency, she says, and the fact that everything is under one roof gives the shopper a more enriching and satisfying experience. "We can also guarantee that customers will have absolutely no problems finding a place to park, which was a big issue downtown."She also likes the convenient mid-town location just off the bike trail near Harveys. “I’m telling everyone to come by for a visit anytime. They're always welcome to browse and see what we’re up to with our latest pewter creations. I think everyone will like what we’ve done here. We’re more than a store; we’re an experience."