PASSION & HISTOIRE BLOG – 4 shops to treat yourself

Kenza Zaoui - Translated by Thea Wortley

In this week’s article, we’re going to talk shopping. But “fun” shopping, not “essentials” shopping.  We’ve chosen four shops for you that are located in Saint-Boniface, and I dare you to leave empty-handed!


Norwood Florist Design Studio

For what occasions should you buy flowers? For Michele, owner of Norwood Florist, there’s a generational difference:  my parents or grandparents buy flowers for specific events, happy or sad. My generation buys flowers because they’re beautiful.

And fittingly, what Michele creates is beautiful. She interprets her clients’ emotions by creating a bouquet uniquely designed for them. Her creations are personalized:  for each composition, she’ll look to learn more about its recipient (favourite colour, favourite flowers, taste) with the goal of achieving a bouquet that reflects as much as possible the unique personality of the person who receives it.

Norwood Florist is now Saint-Boniface’s last florist.  The shop has been here since 1940 and has survived time and the emergence of big businesses for three generations, thanks to a loyal clientele.  The refrigerator where the flowers are stored is original!

Address:  139 Marion Street

Hours:  Monday to Saturday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

Online orders, curbside pickup, and delivery available.

À la Page Bookstore

The À la Page Bookstore moved three times before finding its current location on Provencher Blvd., where the tailor Huot used to be, whose name remains etched in the floor at the entrance of the store as an homage.

The fabrics have disappeared, replaced by rows of books and magazines.  English on the left, French on the right, and you can find a bit of everything in the bookstore:  cookbooks to greeting cards, history books, comics, and textbooks for Saint-Boniface University students.

The newest arrivals chosen by Gérald Boily, the owner, sit side by side on the shelves.  The shop also sells CDs, vinyl, DVDs in an effort to reuse older products.

The service is impeccable.  Gérald greets most customers by their name and makes it a point to get to know the preferences of his most loyal customers by heart. À la Page is the only francophone bookstore in Winnipeg.

Address:  200 Provencher Boulevard

Hours:  10:00 am to 5:00 pm every day except Sunday

Bothwell Cheese Shop

Bothwell Cheese Shop is probably as gourmet a stop you will make on Provencher Blvd.  The store is associated with the factory in New Bothwell in the south of Manitoba and sells cheese, but that isn’t all.

Here you’ll find a whole array of local Manitoban products – for owner Jean-Marc Champagne, that’s the principal criteria for a product to be sold in the shop. The stock includes anything from meat to cakes, jams, sauces, honey, preserves, and table and kitchen accessories.

But it’s the cheese that’s by far the most popular product.  The shop sells approximately thirty Bothwell cheeses, from the most classic to the most original (do chocolate-covered cheese curds convince you of that?) as well as cheeses from Paradise Island in Nanaimo and other importations.  It’s also possible to buy chunks of cheese at a lower cost than those in a grocery store.

Don’t miss the cow on top of the shop on Provencher Blvd.  Her wardrobe changes with the seasons and special events in Winnipeg like sporting moments.  I’m excited to see her Halloween costume!

Address:  136 Provencher Boulevard

Hours:  10:00 am to 6:00 pm except Sundays
Online ordering, curbside pickup, and delivery possible

Café Postal

You’re in Saint-Boniface, you need coffee, where do you go? To Café Postal of course! The cafe named for its famous neighbour, the post office, will celebrate its eighth anniversary this fall.

On the menu? Coffee of course, in all its variations. Louis Levesque Côté, the owner, recommends ordering a cappuccino:  he’s broken down the recipe and has come up with the perfect ratio of espresso and milk.  Me, I really liked the blueberry latte, which is one of the seasonal coffees – it was replaced by a spiced latte!

Café Postal is under renovation and will soon offer an expanded space.  Once the work is finished, the cafe will be able to welcome twenty-five customers compared to nine before. They hope to open this new space by November before the cold weather hits and hopefully reopen dine-in services which are on hold at the moment.  Stay up to date with social media.

Address:  202 Provencher Boulevard

Hours:  7:30 am to 3:00 pm Monday to Saturday, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm on Sunday

Tea, coffee, and other orders available online for pickup or delivery