At the Star Store, find a delightful array of local wools and yarns, sourced from Alberta’s Custom Woolen Mills and Briggs and Little Woolen Mills, the oldest Mill in Canada. Photo courtesy City of Wetaskiwin

At the Star Store, find a delightful array of local wools and yarns, sourced from Alberta’s Custom Woolen Mills and Briggs and Little Woolen Mills, the oldest Mill in Canada. Photo courtesy City of Wetaskiwin

Find the perfect holiday gift – served with a coffee and a side of history!

Shop locally at Wetaskiwin Heritage Museum Star Store + Saturday’s Indigenous + Local Artisan Market

This holiday season (and throughout the year!) your shopping choices could do more than support a local business – they could help preserve our community’s history. Literally.

Many locals will be familiar with the Star Store at the Wetaskiwin and District Heritage Museum, but if you haven’t visited lately, you’re in for a welcome surprise!

Like many organizations faced with pandemic shut-down, when the museum itself couldn’t open, Executive Director Karen Aberle was unsure what the future would look like for the institution. A check-in call from the City’s Economic Development office was just what was needed.

While the museum couldn’t open during the restrictions, the retail shop could, the team pointed out. And that sparked another idea: why not expand the locally inspired gift shop offerings, and join forces with another local business to open Beans Coffee Corner.

A wide array of gorgeous gift ideas and stocking stuffers await at the Star Store at the Wetaskiwin and District Heritage Museum. City of Wetaskiwin photo

A wide array of gorgeous gift ideas and stocking stuffers await at the Star Store at the Wetaskiwin and District Heritage Museum. City of Wetaskiwin photo

Today’s expanded Star Store was born, and it continues to fund heritage preservation and programming for the Wetaskiwin region.

“One hundred per cent of the proceeds from the Star Store and Beans Coffee Corner go toward our programs and services year-round,” Aberle notes.

“We’re in a position that funding, whether from the government or donations as people find themselves in challenging times, is reduced, so this literally helps us keep our doors open,” she says. “Without it, I don’t think we would have been able to keep going.”

Inside, history is everywhere in this convenient shopping destination. Long-time locals will recognize the 1903-built building as the location of the former Star Store, a general store from the City’s early days that later became Montgomery’s Department store. And at the coffee shop inside, the counter was designed to echo the Star Store’s original service counter, Aberle notes.

“The coffee shop really is special and lets us do other things, like supporting other local non-profits,” she adds.

The gifting possibilities also echo the museum’s mandate to support and promote regional and Canadian heritage.

Inside, for example, you’ll find a delightful array of local wools and yarns, sourced from Alberta’s Custom Woolen Mills, from Carstairs, and Briggs and Little Woolen Mills, the oldest Mill in Canada.

At Beans Coffee Corner, in the Star Store at the Wetaskiwin and District Heritage Museum, the counter was designed to echo the Star Store’s original service counter. Photo courtesy City of Wetaskiwin

At Beans Coffee Corner, in the Star Store at the Wetaskiwin and District Heritage Museum, the counter was designed to echo the Star Store’s original service counter. Photo courtesy City of Wetaskiwin

And the candy store is filled with all manner of old-style sweets and treats that Wetaskiwin residents would have enjoyed over the years.

Of course, you’ll also find museum and City of Wetaskiwin-branded items, Canadiana like maple syrup and cards, and gorgeous gift ideas and stocking stuffers for everyone on your list, including clothing and accessories, housewares, books and toys, and more.

Regular Star Store operating hours are Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with extended hours on Thursdays until 8 p.m., and if you can’t make it to the store in person, you can even shop online!

Coming up at the museum

This Saturday (Dec. 3), head to the Museum for the Indigenous and Local Artisan Arts and Craft Market, welcoming shoppers from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Learn more about the Wetaskiwin and District Heritage Museum and Star Store at wetaskiwinmuseum.com and stay up to date with the latest events, activities and news on Facebook.

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