Caitlin St John • Photography by Conrad Brown, styled by Kate Richard •
July 8, 2020
When it came time to establish Canadian bakery and mill Flourist’s first storefront, it was essential for the company’s ethos of transparency to pervade the new space. Vancouver-based design firm Ste. Marie connected this notion to the guiding principles—simplicity, utility, and honesty—of the Shaker communities of the 18th century. “Members grew their own food, constructed their own buildings, and manufactured their own tools and furnishings in an attempt to create their own heaven on earth,” explains studio principal Craig Stanghetta. “We drew parallels with this design history and the core values of our client to inspire our design direction.”
Those core values include helping “ensure that farming remains a family business—with each grain, pulse, legume, and bean traceable back to the individual farmer who grew it,” he says. From there, the design team devised a warm palette with a straightforward approach for the full-service bakery, grain mill, and café located in Vancouver’s Cedar Cottage neighborhood. “A palette of malty tones was taken from Flourist’s grains and pulses, enveloping the space like a field of wheat,” says Stanghetta. “Soft, tall floral arrangements emphasize this embrace, and baltic birch wood is utilized throughout, nodding to Shaker design and its parallels to Scandinavian minimalism.”
The 2,800-square-foot multifunctional space comprises a retail area that invites curious onlookers inside, a large marble-topped communal table with a sink to allow for bread-making workshops, and a functional flour mill that customers can experience firsthand through picture windows, ultimately bringing customers closer to the food they eat. “Our intention was to create a thoughtful, responsive space that would inherit meaning over time,” Stanghetta says, “much like a Prairie farmhouse.”
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