An interview with owner Autumn Maxwell
›› Lauren Gaultier
Tell us a bit about the inception of CoCo’s Provisions?
I was obsessed with the original Gene Wilder, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory movie as a kid: floor to ceiling objects of desire, a rolling ladder, and the Candy Man. CoCo is a playful, comforting, ruggedly glamourous, non-gender-specific grandparent-type character, perfumed with citrus woods, tea, and tobacco. They take you under their warm wing, distract you from everyday worries, offer items that meet your basic needs (treasures to soothe and comfort your soul) all sung to you in a show tune style.
What made you decide to open a general/variety store?
Spring and summer are ice cream rush hour months, but I had to get more creative with ways to keep Cold Comfort alive throughout the fall and winter. Ever since I first opened the shop in 2013, I have tried to bring in and feature other locally made products, and now that Wellburn’s Market is gone, I want to focus on offering the community that one thing they are willing to leave the house for, plus a little bit more—without having to drive to a big block grocery store.
Do you already have local suppliers/vendors lined up?
Rad Juli Leather Designs, Joni Organic Period Care, Alison Bigg Soaps, Fatso Peanut Butter, and East Van Jams [to name a few].
How big will the space be?
It’s still a tiny space with a completely new look and layout—courtesy of the talented folks at Bidgood + Co Intermediate Designer and Strong Construction Group—products will all be behind the counter to minimize contact; we have put some extra thought into designing during COVID times. Only one person per bubble will be allowed in at a time.
Will this space be open like a traditional store, or can people order online?
It will be a traditional store, but some items will still be available for delivery via our online store at coldcomfort.ca.
Since you will be selling cold comfort ice cream, does this mean CoCo’s Provisions hours of operation will be different than Cold Comfort?
As we want to be here for you as your new neighbourhood store, we will be extending our hours, likely to 9am to 9pm, seven days a week—depending on turnout and attendance of course!
You note a fall opening—any more details on a specific date?
Hoping for end of October, fingers crossed!
CoCo’s Provisions will be offering food items like jams, creams, butter, cheese, coffee, eggs, produce, pastries, ice cream, personal hygiene products like soap, fragrances, deodorant, toilet paper, feminine products, toothpaste, and artisan products like handcrafted leather wallets, jewelry, key fobs, fashion, and art. If you have any special requests for items you would love to see offered by CoCo’s Provisions, make sure to reach out to them and let them know on Facebook @coldcomfort or Instagram @cocosprovisions. Find them at 1115 North Park Street.