Week 13: Moose Mart

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Welcome to Moose Mart!

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The Monday morning wake-up station.

One of my favourite family holidays growing up was when my parents would rent a cottage and we’d spend a week at the beach.  No matter which town we visited, there was always one of those stores that sells everything from souvenirs to groceries to homemade meals-to-go.  We’d usually stop at one of these “everything stores” on the way to the beach and again on the way back to the cottage.

There aren’t many ‘everything stores’ around anymore.  We have lots of convenience stores stuck on to gas stations that offer variety but few surprises and not much to explore.  I like a store with character and Moose Mart is a true original.

Located across the street from the University of Guelph’s Kemptville Campus, Moose Mart’s cosy, eclectic look draws me in.  When I walk in, owner Kevin Poulin gives me such a warm welcome that I feel like a regular.  As the late afternoon sun warms the woody interior I see that the shop’s charm lies in its many nooks and crannies.  Customers stream in and out at a steady pace, with Kevin greeting them all by name.

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Don’t forget to check out the gourmet section!

The front of the store is stocked with a bounty of homemade food.  You can buy a nice big sandwich and a bowl of soup {Pea & Ham and Autumn Hamburger on the day I visited}.  There’s also pizza, “moose dogs”, and gourmet soft pretzels.  On the sweet side of things, you can pick up everything from pies to “moose fart” and “moose poop” cookies.

Where does all this moose love come from?  Kevin has always had a fondness for moose.  When he and his wife were married, her daughter started calling Kevin Papa Moose.  He called her Baby Moose.  The nicknames stuck and 17 years later Kevin is still Papa Moose.  I love that story!

You might think, as I did, that the front of the store is the whole store.  It’s not.  Keep going and you’ll find it opens up into a small grocery and souvenir section.  And my favourite – a wall stocked with red pepper jelly, salsa, salad dressing, Mrs. McGarrigle’s mustard, coffee and maple syrup.

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Adopt your own cuddly moose.

Moose Mart really is an everything store.  They sell St. Albert cheddar and cheese curds, Kawartha Dairy ice cream, strawberry milk, slingshots, fireworks, t-shirts, stuffed moose, and {for us locals} garbage bag tags.

Kevin’s hospitable nature lends the store a Cheers-like atmosphere.  He’s always up for a chat and jokes that “what you say in Moose Mart stays in Moose Mart”.  He works hard to make sure his customers feel comfortable, including leaving a stool in front of the dairy case so children can climb up to see the ice cream.  Moose Mart’s Facebook page is a natural extension of the friendly conversation, local news, and jokes shared between Kevin and his customers.

Next time you’re out of milk or garbage bag tags, treat yourself to a trip to Moose Mart and say hi to Papa Moose!

Moose Mart

515 Prescott St., Kemptville, ON K0G 1J0

613-258-3709

kpmoose@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Moose-MART/187371447971949

Monday – Friday 7:00 am – 7:00 pm

Saturday 8:00 am – 6:00 pm

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Homemade baked treats…yum!

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10 Responses to Week 13: Moose Mart

  1. Julie Greene says:

    I loooove a camp store, as you’ve so beautifully described! There is an awesome one on the 7th by Sharbot Lake. Julie Greene, Public Health Agency

    • 52weeksNG says:

      Me too, Julie! There’s so much to see. One thing I didn’t mention in the post is that Kevin has a giant plush moose head mounted in the back grocery area. Just another example of Moose Mart’s excellent character.

      Will have to check out the one near Sharbot Lake next time I’m in the area.

  2. Vincent says:

    gotta get there………stores like these are a jewel in the boring chain mentality…..thanksMoose people.(I can smell the sweetness.)

  3. Sonja Bertram says:

    I LOVE your post Erika and thanks for the “heads up” about Moose Mart..I noticed all the home made muffins showing in your photos…I’ll make a visit “for sure”…

  4. gayatri22 says:

    LOVE Moose Mart and Papa Moose!

  5. Jim says:

    Great post! I too am reminded of traveling around Ontario and exploring all of the small towns and their unique little shops. Your post paints a lovely picture of this charming sounding little store. Because of this glowing post I will be sure to visit moose mart the next time I am in kemptville – keep up the great posts!

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