Pamela Karski is shown outside her store at 547 Center Street in this photo taken by the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce ahead of the 2018 Chamber Gala. Karski was recognized as the man business of the year from the village.
Fri, April 1, 2022 11:20 a.m.
By Joshua Maloni
One of Lewiston’s most popular merchants calls it a career.
Pamela Karski is retiring and closing Canterbury Place – Lewiston’s 2018 Business of the Year.
“I have been here for 30 years. And it’s gotten to the point where I can’t do all the things I want to do with my family and at home anymore,” Karski explained. “And I said my goal was 20 years; I gave it 30. The timing seemed right for me.
“The company did very well last year. It’s done really well, actually, since the pandemic, so I feel like I’m leaving on a good note. I feel good about what I did. You know, I enjoyed it. I like being here. I always felt like it was a privilege to come to work. I met great people. I know my people will miss me for sure. It’s time for me to do something else.
Laughing, Karski added, “I’m not getting any younger. I’m just at that point in my life where it’s time to slow down. You know, it’s getting harder and harder to keep track of everything.
Recognizing the company at the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce Gala four years ago, President Jennifer Pauly wrote, “Canterbury Place offers an eclectic mix of gift items, featuring many well-known products, as well as local artists. Candles and candle accessories have been a mainstay.
“Karski selects products that offer value for money to customers, without compromising on quality. She chooses many traditional items for the store that will last a lifetime. »
The store owner said, “I’ve had great support from the community, from all my customers. I have clients from all over western New York and across the country. I mean, this summer has been crazy with people traveling, and a lot of them are out of state. When they come back to this area, they always come, and so, even if they are not local, they are always regular customers.
“Everyone seems, thankfully, to like what I like, in what I wear. I try to listen very carefully to my clients. I still have; to see what they are looking for. I think Lewiston has a great sense of community, and that’s always been my goal, is to be part of that community and contribute to it.
Karski’s customers have made it a point to offer their best wishes – while emphasizing that they will miss seeing her on Center Street.
“I brought in a lady when I first announced it. And I think she stood here for about an hour, and she kept saying, “I just can’t believe this store won’t be here.” In fact, I was here, I had opened my shop, before she even moved here. I hear that often,” Karski said. “A lot of my clients say to me, ‘You were here when I moved here, and I’ve been here 25 years,’ or whatever. And it’s like I have a young wife , she told me she was here with her son. And that was many years ago now. And she said, ‘I don’t remember you weren’t here.’ And we understood that. And she was 10 years old when I opened my shop. She basically grew up with me.
“I had a lot of that.
“As I said, everyone becomes my friends. I’ve had sales reps I’ve worked with here in the store and they commented, “You greeted everyone who walked through that door by name.” I got to know my clients well. And I consider them all my family and my friends.
Like many Lewiston shopkeepers, Karski said he’s noticed a shift in spending habits since the coronavirus pandemic began two years ago.
“I have to say, if anything positive came out of COVID, it kind of brought it to the fore, how important small businesses are,” she said. “I had a lot of customers who walked around from time to time, but now they are shopping. They don’t just watch, then go home and order online.
“And the group of retailers, coming together, being aware of what everyone is carrying, I think that’s a very positive thing, because that way, if I don’t have it, I can say, ‘ I don’t have it, but you may be able to find it in such and such a store.
“We have to keep people shopping in Lewiston. Don’t give them a reason to leave.
April 16 is the last working day for Canterbury Place. Until then, customers can find deep discounts on their favorite products.