Cumberland staple reopens

The Patch, a store at a location with a long history in Cumberland, is reopening this Saturday.

THE PATCH CLOTHING'S Bailey Gathright-gingras

The Patch, a store at a location with a long history in Cumberland, is reopening this Saturday.

Long a staple of the Cumberland experience, the landmark Big Store, as it is affectionately known to locals, is tearing down the papered windows, redressing the mannequins and reopening their doors.

Over the years, this building has had many incarnations since it was built in 1894 to serve as the Union general store for the working mining populace.

In 1992 it closed for several years and was renovated. It has since seen a seafood restaurant and second-hand hardware store, to name a couple. It now stands as a fashionable place to find high-quality brand-name and vintage clothing.

The Patch has drawn out-of-town visitors and locals alike with its hidden treasures.

Whether during the course of a Cumberland stroll, or perhaps as a side adventure on the way to the lake, a wide variety of clothing, accessories, jewelry (due to arrive next month), and just plain intriguing items well-suited to theme parties can be discovered amid the towering ceilings and attractive mannequins.

Store manager Zoë Cooper has been busy with a brand new shipment of over 4,000 new spring and summer items — of significantly higher quality and better value than ever before — and is clearly excited about the prospect of reopening the store’s doors.

“The truth is we had some difficulty attaining good supply last year and, as a result, many of our loyal patrons may have experienced disappointment, particularly towards the latter part of 2012,” owner Chris Shurety said. “This has changed considerably.”

This spring, the Patch Cumberland will open with the same great selection and value as the Patch Victoria.

“The Patch is one idea, and that idea will be unanimous throughout our brand. This year, we hope to achieve a renewed connection with our customer and with the community — both within Cumberland and the greater Comox Valley.”

When a prominent character building like the Patch sits vacant, it has a ripple effect throughout the community. Shurety felt it would be well worth it to restart this venture, despite the considerable effort involved.

Though only a small town, Cumberland is a bustling community that has become a favourite day trip for many in the Valley and beyond, to eat, shop and explore its heritage and natural surroundings. The Patch is just one more reason to visit this lively little mountain village.

— The Patch

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