In the spring, the Pemberton and District Chamber of Commerce put together a super creative and wonderful Buy Local campaign, that saw local photographers set out to capture portraits of our local business folk. Some of those portraits are being captured right now, including this week’s of Sweda Franken, from Small Potatoes Bazaar, captured by Anastasia Chomlack.
For more, be sure to like https://www.facebook.com/PembertonCofC/ on Facebook.
And follow @smallpotatoesbazaar.ca + @smallpotatoespemberton to win a grand prize package of BC made products.
Meet Sweda Franken owner of Small Potatoes Bazaar, a boutique home-goods and gift store in Pemberton, BC. When Sweda is not working she is out on the trails mountain biking, hiking, skiing with her family, dog Luna and friends. Glance around the store brimming with nature-inspired and local, BC and Canadian sourced dishware, cooking supplies, chocolates, handmade jewelry, gifts, décor, it is apparent that Small Potatoes is an extension of Sweda’s personality – a lover of the forest and fresh air, yoga, cooking and as well as entertaining friends with a beautiful table settings and themed menus
Q) What inspired you to start Small Potatoes?
I had managed businesses in Whistler and this inspired me to start my own business, as I saw a need for products that were not available in Pemberton. I also wanted to work in my community and not travel to Whistler for work anymore. A local community organization supported me to propel my business vision forward, and I opened the store in 2004.
Q) Have you grown and changed over the years? If so how?
Yes! We have shifted to a new, bigger location at 104-7445 Frontier Street. I designed the new store from scratch with collections of curated selection of higher quality products, with a focus on made and or designed in Canada, with all vendors headquartered in Canada. We also have an online presence with social media and a new website.
Q) What are some of your favourite products to sell in the store?
I love curating items for the home and kitchen. I love functional art. It looks good on display, but it has a useful function as well.
Q) How do you stay ahead of the trends or know what Pemberton needs, etc.? And know what customers are looking for?
I feel I have a natural ability to mix staples, with new trends that will have a timeless appeal. I love it, and it’s fun!As far as customer’s needs, we try and speak to every customer directly, and see what they are looking for.
Q) Tell us about what you are featuring for Small Business Week and why this week is important to acknowledge this week.
It is important to support local businesses in your community first, as it provides jobs, it keeps your footprint light for the environment, contributes to a safer community, you meet friendlier sales associates, and also business owners support local, businesses and causes.
For BC Buy Local Week (Nov. 28 – Dec. 4, 2022) we are offering a grand prize package draw of select made in BC products including eco-items! Stay tuned to our social media channels (@smallpotatoesbazaar.ca + @smallpotatoespemberton) for special initiatives and educational pieces that raise awareness on the environmental, community and economic impacts of supporting local businesses.
Q) What is on the horizon for 2023?
To continue to grow and refine our curated selections of local, sustainable products to better serve the needs of Pemberton and surrounding communities. We will also advance our behind-the-scenes technology to streamline our customer service process.
Q) What makes owning and running a store in Pemberton rewarding?
Getting to know my customers by name, interacting with them regularly, and delighting them with the offerings, along with competitive prices that include value and quality. Our staff are dedicated, happy, and love to give our customers a great experience! Oh, and living and working in beautiful Pemberton.
Photos: Anastasia Creative