Few stories have been as much pleasure to cover as the Anita Carrol/Posie Row saga over the past couple of years. From its unsuspecting start, discovering Anita’s unbreakable good nature while covering a break in at the store, on to this spring’s news that she had purchased the historic Tobin building next to her existing spot, with plans to restore and revitalize it.

A central stairway running through the Tobin building complicated the restoration, preventing apartments or other single renter options by floor. This left renting rooms individually to retailers and artisans as Anita’s challenge, if she wanted to keep the building true to character, which she did.

The renovation went as most do, meaning there were delays, crew shortages, and extra expenses, all despite having  top people on her payroll. This was not Anita’s first rodeo, so these set backs were understood and taken in stride.

The new main floor Posie Row retail space opened its doors on Labour Day to much success and genuine appreciation. Beyond selling adorable, affordable, and fair trade clothes, jewelry, and gifts, people in St. John’s are starting to figure out that Anita Carroll is in the same league as well known locals like Jeremy Charles and Todd Perrin in terms of putting her money where her mouth is and investing in heritage and culture through a successful business model.

October 14th marks the Grand Opening of the newest phase, which I envision as a sort of craft and small business mall, without the crasser connotations of the mall concept. Posie Row & Co is a collective of independent businesses including Posie Row, Pinpoint Ink, Dead Issue, Driven to Ink, Britaniola Artisan Soap, Cast On Cast Off, and XPro Pins.

These new tenants will be joined for the opening event by some pretty delicious food vendors, including Soul Azteca. Pop ups for the Grand Opening will include Northeastern Folk Art, Running The Goat Press, Mandy Lee Dawe, and Clare Dawn Couture.

There are still a few rooms available to full time tenants, and retailers have been most interested in the building so far.

Anita says, “It appears retail space is large and expensive downtown. Some landlords require a 3-5 year lease, huge rents, and deposits of as much as 3 months rent. Plus you do your own leasehold improvements.

“We are offering 30 days notice, one month’s rent as deposit, and the rent is all inclusive. Heat and light, internet, advertising campaign and social media, cleaning of the common areas, security camera and fire alarm monitoring, business tax, public washroom,ground floor window display, kitchenette, garbage and recycling pick up”.

Anita has run a steady ship through the many economic storms of our city and province, and no doubt will keep this new venture on its course, thereby enabling many new entrepreneurs and crafters to get a foot hold in an often financially daunting world of small local business.

As a job creator and driver of the economy who balances yield with integrity, she is a model for the next generation and a woman on the go to watch out for.