The Doorway Voted Top Business In Shop-Local Initiative
Long-Standing Chamber Member Values #Thinklocal First Exposure
With a neighbourly vibe and welcoming environment, The Doorway in Trail has been a go-to shop for gifts and home decor for the past fifteen years and continues to be one of the best businesses in the region, according to South Kootenay shoppers.
The Trail business’ commitment to showcasing a mixed bag of retail, served alongside their specialty coffee and snack bar, makes for a unique shopping experience enjoyed by residents and visitors alike. The Doorway, along with Good Stuff and Coast 2 Coast Clothing, was selected as one of the top three businesses when the Trail & District Chamber of Commerce surveyed shoppers attending the IncrEDIBLE Farmers Market’s Early Bird Market and Last Minute Christmas Market in 2022.
“It’s very humbling to know our customers love coming back and we appreciate every single one that continues to support us,” says The Doorway Manager Tania Fowler. “Being a Chamber member has been good for business. The level of exposure gained from initiatives like the Disloyalty Card and the connection we feel to other businesses through campaigns like the This Is Our Business photo contest brings us all to the table. We benefit from working together.”
Customer service is at the centre of their business model and has resulted in repeat customers, according to Fowler, who compares The Doorway’s environment to the sitcom Cheers.
“It’s a place where everybody knows your name,” says Fowler. “We know the majority of people who stop in. We have our chats, our whine sessions. They grab their Cherry Hill or No6 Coffee, pick up a gift or trinket for their own home, and hopefully, even our new customers feel just as welcome the first time they come in.”
In addition to the draw of the coffee bar, the staff’s product knowledge and the joy and care they take in helping shoppers find the perfect gift or statement piece for their own home is what sets them apart.
The one-stop shop carries such must-haves as Bathorium, Jellycat, and Rogers’ Chocolates, rounding out its selection with Canadian and locally curated gifts and household items. From pieces for kitchen and living spaces to baby and toddler products, jewelry, sweets, and delectable skin care products, The Doorway has it all. And let’s not forget their hilariously cheeky selections with sarcastic sayings that bring smiles to those who stop in.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a store quite like ours, even in my travels on hockey trips with my family,” admits Fowler. “Sure, there’s always a coffee shop with a small amount of retail, but not like what we have here. Our retail takes up so much space that it monopolizes seating. There are no tables inside, but a few are set outside when the weather warms up. We like to have fun with our customers and usually there’s so much conversion, there’s no time to sit down!”
Like many businesses, The Doorway established its online store during the pandemic, providing the alternative of an online shopping experience. Their website also touts staff picks to make gift buying even easier, whether in-store or online. In addition to participating in Chamber #ThinkLocalFirst initiatives, the Doorway likes to show their appreciation through in-house programs like their loyalty rewards card: after 10 purchases of your favourite beverage at their café, receive a free 16 oz. beverage.
For these reasons and more, The Doorway continues to stand out as one of the most beloved local businesses.
“Names of over 115 local businesses you love, appreciate, and shop at throughout the year were dropped at our Chamber table during the special holiday markets and we tallied the top three,” says Executive Director Erika Krest. “To show our appreciation, we have awarded the winning businesses with recognition, as well as valuable prizes, including this profile written by Writer’s Block Solutions.”
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