Mother Hubbard’s Mixes business partners Sharon and Vernon Baker pose for a photo in front of their baked goods at their soft opening on Saturday, July 15. (X.Y. Zeng photo)

Two new businesses open downtown

One on Fraser Avenue and another on Wallace Street

Two new businesses have opened their doors in downtown Hope this month.

At 785 Fraser Ave., pre-packaged mixes and baked goods retailer Mother Hubbard’s Mixes opened its doors for the first time this morning, and at 460 Wallace St., vapour products retailer Stratus Vapor Shop has opened since the Canada Day long weekend.

Mother Hubbard’s Mixes owner Vernon Baker said his business focuses on pre-packaged mixes. They also sell baked goods such as muffins and scones made using those mixes.

“How we started is that we were looking for a facility that we could assemble all our pre-packaged stuff,” said Baker. “Once we got this spot, we thought we might as well … bake some of these stuff that we’ve pre-packaged.”

Their slogan is “premium ingredients, just add water!” Baker’s mixes come with instructions on the back, and mostly require the baker to pour the mix into a bowl, add water, and bake it.

Baker said he used to work for a large bakery with plants across Canada as the head of product development. He and his business partner, Sharon Baker, moved to Hope a few years ago and retired.

“Retirement, I think, my idea of it has changed over the years,” said Baker, “I used to think of it as one of those things where you would stop working, but we both like to be active.”

They ran Mother Hubbard’s Mixes to keep busy, selling their products in stores and in trade shows. Baker said they are finalizing their hours of operation which will likely tend towards opening in the early morning and closing in the afternoon because of the nature of their product. It will not be open seven days a week, and weekend operations could be affected by their trade show schedules.

Stratus Vapor Shop is a family-run business, run by new residents from Saskatchewan who moved here eight months ago.

“We were looking for a move from Saskatchewan where we owned a vape shop there for two years,” said owner Sandy Renes.

Renes said she decided to move to Hope because she saw the tourism and growth in the town.

Renes said using vapour products can help people quit smoking by progressively cutting down their intake, adding that vaping does not have the carcinogens and additives that cigarettes have. She sells products with varying amounts of nicotine, including some products with zero nicotine. They carry about 60 different flavours with high nicotine, and Renns added that zero-nicotine products can provide a sweet taste without the calories of alternatives.

They are open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., except on Sundays, where they open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.