New downtown store showcases local products
By Darren Lum
There’s a lot to appreciate at Haliburton’s new store, Mathew Madlyn, located next to the town’s cenotaph at Highland and York streets.
There’s a wall of Canadian-made shirts with positive messages, part of their Kindness Matters clothing line. Living Libations products are available, as well as local food that shows off the savoury splendour of the Highlands.
Mathew Madlyn co-owners Terri Mathews-Carl and Dulce Acero are excited about bringing these items to a bricks and mortar location, which officially opened on May 18 during the long weekend.
Mathews-Carl said this store meets the demand of consumers looking to make more environmentally friendly choices.
“I just think that especially for the younger generation coming up right now, it’s really important to them. They want to know that our containers are reusable. They don’t want to use single use plastic. They want to know where their food comes from,” she said. “They don’t want things factory farmed so I think all that’s important.”
The straws are paper, and the cups and cutlery are made from a vegetable-based compostable plastic, she said. Some of the salad containers (with deposit) are returnable, or can be reused.
The name Mathew Madlyn comes from the middle names of Mathews-Carl’s children Annie and Jack.
Looking at the wall of shirts, Acero said, “The positive messages are just to be nice to each other. There’s enough bad in the world.”
Acero will be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the store. She had owned and operated a children’s retail store for three years in Lindsay.
Mathews-Carl added, “It’s a lot harder to be nasty to someone if they’re saying, ‘Be Kind’ right on their shirt, I think.”
She said another reason to open the store was the increasing popularity of the Kindness Clothing line, which had been only sold online and at the local farmers’ markets.
“The demand was there. We were running it out of my living room, which didn’t work in terms of packaging and a place to pick up stock and Canada Post is obviously expensive for people locally. The idea of having a standalone store was appealing. To be honest there wasn’t a space available so when this space became available we figured it was a good time,” she said.
The location includes an exterior wall that faces York Street. On that wall is a large image of a heart on a yellow background which encourages people to take photos for social media.
“We really wanted something that sent the message out huge for everybody to see while driving by, in the park and everywhere, but not only is that good for the message, but I think it is good for Haliburton County because people are Instagramming themselves all the time, hashtagging them being in Haliburton,” she said.
It also provides a place for locally produced goods that don’t have a standalone store in the Highlands such as Living Libations, Artech Glass Blowing Studios of Tory Hill, The Occurrence puzzles, featuring Michael Bainbridge’s mineral photography.
The store boasts a food lineup of products that will be “good for the soul and good for the environment,” said Mathews-Carl, who is also a co-owner of the Rhubarb Restaurant. They “curated everything here to be socially responsible.”
There are vegan and vegetarian options. There will be salads and seasonal produce locally harvested by area food producers such as Cranberry Lake Farm of Cranberry Lake located near Eagle Lake, and Lindenberg Farms of Haliburton, and establishments such as Rhubarb Restaurant and Raisin the Root.
The food offerings, they said, include freshly baked bread from a local baker, vegan options (cheese, coconut yogurt, pressed juices, specialty bars and other snacks) available in Toronto, and a nitro cold pressed coffee.
Currently, the store is open from Thursday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Summer hours will start July 2.
Future plans include increasing the volume of sales on the online store and marketing their apparel with customized silk screened designs to the area hospitals and schools. They hope to add more store employees.
For more information visit MathewMadlyn.com, or follow Mathew Madlyn on Facebook or Instagram.