This November, we brought the Knifewear Garage Sale to Montreal. Montreal is a city in Quebec, about a two hour drive from Ottawa. It’s a city very proud of its French culture. Many people there speak only French. Good food is very important to the culture there. In fact, it has the highest number of restaurants per capita in all of North America! It is one of Canada’s oldest cities and has a tonne of history.
We loaded up a Dodge Caravan with tonnes of knives and drove for a couple of hours to the coolest bakery in all of Quebec. Our friends, Seth and Julien, let us setup our Pop-Up shop in their beautiful bakery, L’Automne Boulangerie. The breads and pastries are easily the best I’ve ever had; there was a focaccia with roasted fall vegetables, arugula, and blue cheese that I could happily eat every day until I die.
The turnout was amazing, we met with hundreds of people. Some were faithful customers and knew we were coming, some were their friends, and some just happened to be in the right place at the right time. I actually met one guy who had just returned from Japan that morning. He had been to visit Saji-san, from whom he bought three knives already. While he was visiting he decided he also needed a couple Koishis and a Maboroshi! He is a true fan.
Chefs, food writers, and gourmet home cooks turned up in droves to get their hands on some wickedly sharp Japanese steel. We managed to get some sharpening in while we were there and even took a few knives that required a bit more help back to Ottawa to fix. After we got them all fixed up, we mailed them back to our new friends in Montreal. This is the kind of service that our customers love us for. We like making new friends by going the extra mile for them.
A Knifewear pop-up would be incomplete without some after-hours shenanigans. Gigantic bottles of beer, eating the entire menu at Resevoir AND Maison Publique, then off to La Belle Province hot dogs for dessert, plus buckets of coffee are all par for the course. We can’t wait to visit Montreal again, and we just might be planning a return visit for the next Garage Sale in the spring. Fingers crossed!