EXETER - Downtown Shopping District
While some small-town downtown cores struggle to survive, Exeter’s main street is home to an eclectic retail mix that rivals any nearby city mall. Attractive shop windows entice passers-by to shop local and explore main street mainstays including European Additions, Designers, Sugar and Spice Chocolates and The Jewellery Box, to name a few.
Best of all, the businesses are locally-owned with the owners often greeting customers as they come in for a browse and a shop. In fact, many businesses have been passed down through the generations.
“In terms of shopping, Exeter offers what could be considered a personalized shopping experience,” says Laura Connolly, Exeter’s BIA manager. “The owners are making conscious decisions about what to put in the store and made those decisions based on a strong understanding of their client.”
Connolly goes on to reference Pam Reid at Inner Urban Home. “Pam will curate your visit by asking about price points and tastes to help find those items for your home.” Indeed, a very relevant service during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Willow Valley on Main is another shop offering what Connolly calls the curated shopping experience. “Penny Venton has been in the industry for years and can mix styles that pair beautifully and pulls it all together wonderfully for her clients.”
While downtown, there’s an opportunity for giving back as well. The Little Shop consignment is an adorable shop for younger people and in support of Big Brothers and Big Sisters, an important organization in the town says Connolly.
But there’s so much more behind the beautiful displays created in the shop windows. Push open the doors and to discover what awaits in downtown Exeter. Sugar and Spice Chocolates gives the impression it’s a chocolate shop, which it is, but the whimsical styling creates an enticing spot to shop for yourself or a gift welcoming a new baby, celebrating a wedding or a new home.
Further along, stepping inside Custom Covers reveals the extent of the services offered. Connolly exclaims enthusiastically that “they have some of the best selection of sheets and blankets too and they are the only Hunter Douglas studio in Huron County.” They also offer custom upholstering.
Coming this spring, an eight-foot locally carved white squirrel will take up residence in the parkette downtown providing yet another reason to explore downtown Exeter. The town is known for its unique white squirrel population and the structure will be part of the forthcoming white squirrel adventure around town.