GOLD WINNERBlack Market Boutique
1545 Grafton Street
SILVER WINNERFireworks Gallery
1569 Barrington Street
BRONZE WINNERHouse of Moda
The Doyle, 5431 Spring Garden Road, suite 201
You’ll know you’ve arrived at the Black Market Boutique well before you walk through its front door. Whether it’s the full-storey purple and teal mural that adorns the Grafton Street shop’s brick facade or the bazaar-like sensory buffet that hits when you wander inside, it’s the kind of place that leaves an impression long after you’ve left—even generations later, if you’re floor manager Ceilidh Kawahara. Born and raised in Japan, Kawahara recalls hearing about the Black Market Boutique through her Cape Breton-raised mother. “When [she] brought us back [to Halifax], this was definitely one of the places where you see different cultures… it stood out to me from a young age,” she says, speaking by phone with The Coast. “It’s not like any other shop downtown.” First opened in 1988, the Black Market Boutique brings in jewellery—and other goods like clothes and homewares—from small-scale producers in Thailand, India, Nepal and Indonesia. It also sets aside a portion of its proceeds for supporting children’s charities and organizations fighting food insecurity.