Skip to content
Sponsored Content

Store brings quality toys, books and art supplies to qathet

​​​​​​​Huckle + Berry Kids provides local alternative to shopping online
2736_fpn_huckle_berry
Owners Andrea and Dan Nicholson with four-year-old twins, Oliver and Jada.

It’s been two years in the making, but now Huckle + Berry Kids has opened its doors, and Andrea Nicholson is glad to have an opportunity to share the toys and books she and her children love with Powell River.

“I love to shop local, but there were no options in town to get the high-quality, imagination-style toys my kids enjoy playing with,” says Andrea. “For Christmas 2020, I ordered a bunch of things online, and none of them showed up in time. That experience gave me a push to finish my business plan and get my store open.”

Andrea had been laid off due to the pandemic and was at home with her two children. She realized that after years of working for others, she wanted to become an entrepreneur.

“I think the pandemic gave a lot of people, me included, time to think about doing their own thing,” she says. “Two years is a long time from business plan to grand opening; I could only work on it in my spare time, but once we committed to going back to day care, the push was on to find a location and get started.”

Huckle + Berry Kids opened last month on the south end of Marine Avenue, below Strikers Bowling Alley and next to Kingfisher Used Books, and stocks quality toys that inspire open-ended play for children up to age 10, books and art supplies.

“My favourite toy in the store right now is the Connetix Tiles,” says Andrea. “They’re magnetic tiles that you can use to build any kind of structure, and the sound they make when they crash down is extremely satisfying. You can build your collection with different sets over time, and they’re great for any age. They get played with every single day at our house, and sometimes not by the kids!”

There is also a large selection of children’s books at Huckle + Berry Kids.

“Children’s books are a big passion of mine,” says Andrea. “They can be so eye-opening, and create opportunities for great conversations with your kids. We’ve got a good selection now, and I will be expanding it in the future.”

The feedback Andrea has received from the community has been overwhelmingly positive, with many people saying her store was needed here.

“I don’t want to compete with the bigger stores that sell action figures and foam dart guns,” she says. “The toys and art supplies I carry haven’t been available in town, and with more young families moving to Powell River, there’s room for all types of play.”

When she was looking for a name for her store, Andrea wanted a nature theme in keeping with the beauty of Powell River. When she asked her son what his favourite thing in nature is, he said huckleberries, as they are his favourite berry to pick in the summer, and so the name was born. Soon, Huckle + Berry Kids will bring the best of Powell River to all of Canada.

“My website is almost ready, so soon I’ll be able to sell online,” says Andrea. “Out-of-town relatives will be able to buy gifts online and have them picked up by the parents, or I can ship a gift anywhere in Canada that someone picks out here. I’ll also have gift cards available shortly, so kids can come in and pick out their own toys and books.”

Opening Huckle + Berry Kids has been a family affair, with four-year-old twins Oliver and Jada on product testing, husband Dan on support and encouragement, and extended family on renovations and child care.

“It’s been a great first month,” says Andrea, “and I’m looking forward to being part of the Powell River business community for a long time.”

Huckle + Berry Kids is located at 4488 Marine Avenue, and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm. Andrea encourages people to follow the store on Facebook at facebook.com/huckleandberrykids, or give her a call at 604.413.7073.