Cultures Boutique, Fredericton’s first fair trade store, has closed after 28 years in business. After announcing their intention to close at the end of January, the shop sold its remaining stock in a closing sale and shut down permanently on January 22, 2021.

Cultures Boutique was an alleyway gift shop in downtown Fredericton. The signs advertising the shop can still be seen leading into Mazzuca’s Lane, located in a pedestrian district known as the Tannery. 

Since Rick McDaniel opened Cultures almost three decades ago, the YMCA of Fredericton has managed the boutique.

The business’s closure was originally announced to customers on January 6, allowing almost a month’s notice for customers to purchase the remaining stock. In the days leading up to their closure, a sign hung in the window indicating a 50 per cent clearance sale of remaining stock.

On January 12, the staff released a statement regarding their closure, thanking customers for support over the years. 

“It brings us joy to know that you have felt that the store has been a safe space where you could be yourself as we have always stood for equality,” wrote the staff in a Facebook post. 

The staff at Cultures always made maximum use of their tight space by stocking an abundance of colourful fair-trade goods. Past patrons are met with a starkly different view as they pass by the now empty shop.

“Due to the overwhelming response to our sale, today will be our last day at the store,” stated the Fredericton YMCA on January 22. “Thank you to all of our customers who have sent encouraging words and shared their love of fair trades items with us!”

Jason Dickson, the CEO of the YMCA of Fredericton, was unable to be reached for comment.