Homestead Junction to halt full-time retail operations, will function as monthly market beginning this spring

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      A longstanding East Vancouver destination for avid DIYers and the environmentally conscious is scaling back its operations.

      Homestead Junction, which offers a variety of kitchen tools, housewares, and DIY workshops designed to facilitate more mindful living, announced on its website today (February 3) that it will be halting full-time service at its brick-and-mortar store at 649 East Hastings Street. Beginning February 12, the shop will run as a monthly market instead.

      According to Homestead Junction founder Rick Havlak, this structural change will help the company stay afloat so it may continue sharing its products and services.  

      “Basically, our business model is not financially sustainable,” Havlak wrote in an open letter online. “Although many, many of you have shown generous support over the years, it’s become clear that if we are going to survive as an organization—and continue to support you in pursuing DIY, self-sufficiency, and urban homesteading—we need to majorly rethink our business model.”

      The ecofriendly business will follow its regular opening hours until February 11. The first Homestead Junction Market will take place at the shop from March 10 to 12. Markets have also been set for April 7 to 9 and May 12 to 14.

      During these times, Vancouverites may stop by the store to browse Homestead Junction’s entire range of products and pick up items that have been purchased online. (The local retailer will continue to operate its web store, where shipping and pick-up options will be available.)

      In addition, Homestead Junction will continue to operate its workshops with the aim of hosting 15 seminars a month. However, Havlek notes that the majority of these events may take place during the three-day Homestead Junction Markets.

      During non-market days, Homestead Junction’s 1,000-square-foot storefront will be available for short-term rentals.

      Havlek acknowledges that this shift may be “a bit of a retreat”, but hopes that community members and longtime clients will remain supportive of the business. “We know the new model won’t work for everyone—it won’t help you if you need something today—but it’s the best mix of education, supplies, and human contact we believe we can offer,” he wrote.

      Founded in 2012 as Homestead’s Emporium, Homestead Junction quickly emerged as a one-stop shop for specialty tools and informative workshops, which teach self-sufficient skills such as soap-making, beekeeping, and canning. It was rebranded as Homestead Junction in 2015, a name that, according to Havlak at the time, would better reflect the retailer’s commitment to collaboration.

      Follow Lucy Lau on Twitter @lucylau.