Edgemont general store owner trades writing for wares

Tamara Komuniecki didn’t want to leave journalism, but she had to act on her burning desire.

“I had a secret long-held dream of owning my own small store, and indeed we have general stores in my family’s history ... but to tell you the truth, I didn’t really think I’d get here,” says Komuniecki, who made it to Edgemont Village in late summer, where she set up a new shop.

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Komuniecki really enjoyed storytelling and was convinced the thrill of the story chase would hook her until retirement.

She would pitch stories to national media outlets so that she could learn how to surf in Tofino, among other adventures. Flying a glider, piloting an AWACS jet and working in production for U2, all came with the journalism territory for Komuniecki.

“Interviewing the famous and doing exciting things was great, but I also really loved the streeter interviews where we’d head out and get man-on-the-street answers to questions of the day,” says Komuniecki.

The year of the Vancouver Olympics something dramatic happened to Komuniecki that changed everything.

“We had moved back from Los Angeles, where we had moved for my husband’s work and where I had gotten a job as a magazine editor, to have our son,” recalls Komuniecki.

But her son, Finn, was born at 28 weeks, which shifted priorities for the new mom. Komuniecki decided to stay at home with Finn until he started school. During her spare time, she started a small online store.

“And as he grew, so did the shop,” she says. “I kept stock in our carport and my home office, and eventually sold at local markets, and then opened a pop-up shop for a weekend, and decided to go bigger after that.”

Komuniecki realized her dream and opened Delish General Store, specializing in “sundries and wares, curated and created,” on Granville Island in 2014.

Four years later, Komuniecki was looking for a change of scenery.

“There was a small retail space I had basically stalked for years, and it came available,” explains Komuniecki of relocating to Edgemont Village earlier this fall. “When The Juicery was closing, the owners Alex and Christina asked me if I’d like to have the space, and I jumped at the opportunity.”

It’s a convenient commute for Komuniecki who had discovered Edgemont’s charm eight years prior.

“Somehow we stumbled upon Edgemont Village, and knew it was the place for us,” she says.

“The chance to have my store in my home community can only be described as a dream come true – it was truly an eight year goal finally realized. The very space I’d walk by with my son in his stroller, and I’d peek through papered-over windows, finally became mine.”

In her new digs, Komuniecki wants to hone in on what the community needs from Delish General Store.

“So far I have steered away from the more tourist-oriented items that Granville Island shoppers wanted, and moved towards items that have sustainability in mind, and are supportive of healthy living,” explains Komuniecki, who describes the Delish space as bright, cosy, inviting – and pet friendly.

When she’s curating items for the store, Komuniecki admits she looks for items that she would want in her own home – “to use in my own kitchen or on my own body.”

Komuniecki is also drawn towards well-designed products that also perform well, and do not harm people or the planet.

Edgemont general store owner trades writing for wares_3
A colourful assortment of environmentally friendly cleaning supplies on display at Delish General Store. photo Paul McGrath, North Shore News

“I like anything that replaces a disposable or single-use item, and I’ll be bringing more of that sort of product in,” says Komuniecki.

“I am also obsessing over cleaning products made in Europe.”   

With Christmas around the corner, Komuniecki proclaims that her general store is stocking stuffer central.

“Things like the stainless steel drinking straws are perfect and unique, as are our bamboo toothbrushes, Swedish sponge cloths, wood napkin rings, beeswax candles, matches in a jar, and more,” says Komuniecki. 

 

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