Unique Holiday Shopping Opportunities

There are often unique holiday shopping opportunities right in your own backyard, like these two, just outside of Durham.

Lois Harris
Lois Harris

Guest Writer: Lois Harris from Wordswork Communications

Wordswork Communications is a full-service freelance writing and editing business that specializes in the agri-food sector. I’m Lois Harris - the business owner and principal writer, in charge of operations, marketing, scheduling and office cleaning (only mine though, and sporadically). I've been writing and editing for a startling 25+ years. I’ve lived in the lovely town of Durham for the past eight years. ​My mission is pretty straightforward: helping busy people who grow and make food tell their stories. 

Supporting local businesses is not only good for Grey County’s economy, it’s an excellent way to score some very high quality products. 

West Grey Premium Beef has been a fixture in the community for 18 years. Known for processing and selling high-quality local beef steaks, roasts and hamburger, the company has widened it’s offerings to include other meats – chicken, pork and fish – as well as many yummy local foods - Magwood Maple Syrup of Hanover, Kountry Korner Pickles of Mount Forest, and Filsinger’s Organic Foods of Ayton to name a few.

“We run specials over two week periods and vary the products – usually steaks in the summer and roasts in the winter,” says Mark McPhatter, who’s in charge of retail operations.

Customers can shop on-line or in person at the outlet on Highway 6 just south of Varney. Freezer packs have been popular – ranging in price from the $20 breakfast pack with eggs, bacon or sausage, peameal back and hashbrown patties to the $150 pack with steaks, sausages, pork chops and one of their delicious lasagne, shepherd’s pies or cabbage rolls.

Owned by George and Nancy Maxwell, the company employs 20 local people and regularly donates to a number of charities – Durham Legion, Owen Sound Hospital, Hanover Air Cadets, Durham Figure Skating and more. They’re always willing to help out at fundraisers and banquets by providing meat or gift certificates. They’ll also help out charities through their fundraising program.

If you’re looking for gift ideas for that special woman in your life, Karen MacGregor can steer you in the right direction at MacGregor Ladies Fashions.

“We have a very supportive community and loyal customers - it’s been fabulous,” she says of the nearly nine years she and husband Andy have been in business.

While Karen takes care of the fashion side, Andy runs an import company specializing in garden accessories, outdoor lamps and more.

Karen MacGregor of MacGregor Ladies Fashions
MacGregor Ladies Fashions

MacGregor’s offers elegant women’s clothing from designers like Michael Tyler, Frank Lyman, Tribal and Skovhuus. She carries everything from shorts to slacks, blouses, dresses and coats. Many items are made from natural and organic fibres.

There’s also a large variety of unique jewelry, hats, scarves, lingerie, shoes and purses. Karen’s committed to buying Canadian as much as she can and likes to hold sales and events like Ladies’ Nights – pre-pandemic, of course.

She recently held a Black Friday sale in which customers had to register to shop. A total of 15 masked and socially-distanced people browsed and bought their way from nine in the morning to six at night.

The MacGregors are active in the charitable community and especially with the West Grey Durham Lion’s Club.

MacGregor's Ladies Fashions

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Let’s all do our part to ensure the year gets off to a good start by staying home and supporting our local businesses from the comfort of our internet browsers.


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