A letter from our founder
By now many of you have noticed the signs of change afoot at our little store. You’ve seen the yellow clearance stickers, found more empty slots on the essential oils rack, or been frustrated by our changing business hours (sorry!). “What’s happening to Homestead Junction?” you may have asked, but we haven’t been able to give you a clear answer, until today.
Basically, our business model is not financially sustainable. Although many, many of you have shown generous support over the years, it’s become clear that if we are going to survive as an organization - and continue to support you in pursuing DIY, self-sufficiency, and urban homesteading - we need to majorly rethink our business model.
That’s what we’re doing, and we’ve got things planned out enough that I can share with you the changes we’ll be making very soon:
Brick-and-mortar retail shop becoming once-monthly market
this one is the biggie. We are switching over from a permanent, full-time retail shop to a market model. This means instead of being open 7 days a week, or even 5 days a week, our retail shop will be open once per month for a three days festive event we’re calling Homestead Junction Market. The schedule is below. At all other times, our retail space is available to rent!
Regular Tuesday-Saturday hours through February 11th
HJX Market - to be held at same Homestead Junction location
Pre-order chicken feed one week in advance of each date.
- March 10-12 (with re-opening gala March 10th)
- April 7-9
- May 12-14
- Future market dates TBD
Web store at homesteadjunction.ca
Our web store remains available 24/7. We’ll continue to offer shipping and a local pickup option. Since our store won’t be open every day, we’re partnering with our next-door neigbours to offer an in-store pickup that will be available at least 4 days/ week. You can also order online for pickup at at any Homestead Junction workshop. Certain bulky items (think chicken feed) will be available once a month by pre-order. This means you can still order through our web store without having to pay for (or wait for) shipping.
We will continue to offer an extensive workshop program, aiming for 15 high-quality offerings each month. As before, the easiest way to book tickets is at www.homesteadjunction.ca. We will do our best to keep ticket prices low, but some prices are going to increase a little. There will be two important changes:
More workshops will be concentrated into the Homestead Junction Market weekends. This way you can come for a workshop, browse, and chat with staff just like before!
We’ll still schedule workshops for other times (e.g. weekday evenings) at which times the store will not be open for purchases. When attending these workshops, you’ll be able to pre-order merchandise from our web store for pickup at the workshop.
If this all seems like a bit of a retreat, well, it is. We really wanted to be able to offer you a full-time retail store, where any time of the week you could walk through an open door and get everything you need to learn something new. But in five years we haven’t found a business model that would sustain that. We know the new model won’t work for everyone - it won’t help you if you need something today - but it’s the best mix of education, supplies, and human contact we believe we can offer.
On a personal note, I hope and believe these changes will allow me to spend more time on the reasons I started this company in the first place. After 20 years I’m finally getting my own chickens again this spring, and I look forward to spending more time in the garden.
I’ve learned more in the last five years than I ever thought there was to know about running a business. Thank you for all your patience, support, and patronage during our time as an in-store retailer; I hope you’ll join us in this next phase of our journey!
P.S.: Storefront available for rental!
Whenever we aren't holding a weekend market, our retail storefront is coming available for short-term rentals. It’s about 1000 sq feet and we’re offering an introductory rate of $75 + GST / hour, with a 4 hour minimum charge. Day and week rates available, with further discounts possible for homesteading-aligned rentals. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details and availability.