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Conway Workshop in Digby opens new store with a purpose

Teresa Granger is one of the employees at Water Street Creations and Consignments. This is the first job she's worked at where she gets to use a cash register.
Teresa Granger is one of the employees at Water Street Creations and Consignments. This is the first job she's worked at where she gets to use a cash register. - Amanda Doucette

There is a new store on Water Street in Digby and you might recognize some of the employees as clients from the Conway Workshop.

Water Street Creations and Consignment is a store with lots to offer.

They have a large selection of artwork and crafts from local vendors, including some pieces made by individuals from the workshop.

But that’s not all their offering.

The store is being used as a way to help clients get hands on work experience. It offers them the opportunity to transition into the workforce and practice their skills.

Teresa Granger just finished working her second shift at the store and she’s excited about the opportunity.

“I really like it. It’s a new experience,” she said.

She has volunteered at a few places around Digby County, but this is the first time she’s gotten the chance to use a cash register.

Granger and five others from the workshop are taking turns working shifts throughout the week in the store.

They are mainly working the cash register, doing inventory and stocking products.

“Everything is really nice in here. I like it so far,” Granger added.

The grand opening of Water Street Creations and Consignments.
The grand opening of Water Street Creations and Consignments.

The Conway Workshop received a $50,000 grant from the department of Community Service to employ six participants and get the store up and running.  

“We’re all pretty proud of it. It’s a new adventure,” said Jill Baxter, executive director of Conway Workshop.

The workshop offers clients a few courses each year to help prepare them for opportunities like this. Some courses include subjects like communications, math and retail management.

“This now will open the door for our guys to showcase all their skills,” Baxter said.

Granger knows those courses helped her prepare for this new job.

“They really helped,” she added.

The idea of opening a store was raised by clients who were interested in getting work experience. It became one of their goals for 2018 and they’ve succeeded.

“This isn’t just showcasing our abilities, but the whole area for coming together with this,” said Baxter.

The store is taking in products from local vendors, clients of the workshop and products from other workshops and organizations throughout the province.

The store is located at 58 Water Street in Digby and they plan to have outdoor barbeques throughout the summer.  The workshop was looking at a few locations downtown but decided the Water Street location was best for attracting downtown foot traffic and tourists from the ferry.

The store has been up and running for the last few weeks. As soon as they finished painting and getting the space ready, they were excited to open the doors and start selling.

“We were all a little excited to get things up and running,” added Baxter.

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