Submitted By Ken Hirter

Happy New Year everyone!!!!

This month’s Walkabout Profile of the faces of the small business owners and those making a difference within their given community. So for the next 12 months I will be focused on the faces of the shopkeepers and their shops along beautiful James Street North here in Hamilton.

“From the bookshops, clothing shops, coffee houses, restaurants and more supporting the local small businesses and those giving back to the communities in which they work.”

The first shop in this series finds me at the James North General Store also known as the JNGS located at 95 James Street North where James Street North meets at York Street next door to the Barber Shop pole light.

The James Street North General Store was established in 2013 where old school charms meets new school, a throwback of the old General Store of yesteryear brought into today. It was where l sat and chatted with shopkeeper Mr. Darren Kregar.

I asked Darren his Vision for the shop:

“To support local artisans & small business together for success, there are a lot of opportunities and if there are none then make them.”

Motto: “We sell coffee & other stuff” and much, much more. From the food pantry of all natural foods, natural bath & beauty products to vintages toys, greeting cards etc……….

I asked Darren what charitable causes that he holds dear to his heart.

Lady Bird Sanctuary who have their merchandise sold at the JNGS with all proceeds going to this wonderful group of caring individuals and the array of animals providing loving care & forever homes.

Mission Services Toy & Gift Drive over the Christmas season the James Street North General Store raised over $1,300 in both donations and in store merchandise to make a child’s & parents Christmas and Merry one.

So give the online shopping, give the malls and the big box stores a break and take to the streets and shop local. Support those small local business owners in your neighborhood and get out and about. So grab a hot chocolate or coffee and stroll along beautiful James

Street North today……..”Beat the winter blahs and get some fresh air and get in some exercise and walkabout.

You can follow the James North General Store at:


and on Twitter also

I would like to thank Darren for the sit down and chat in the first of the new year and the first in the series of the faces behind the shopkeepers on James Street North here in Hamilton & Hamilton’s North End neighborhood.

Till next month, take care of you and those around.