Begin Anew

Arcade Plaza, Downtown Medicine Hat.October 15, 2021

The Arcade Plaza is a well-known multi-use building located in the heart of downtown and has welcomed a handful of new locally owned businesses that offer niche products to the area.

Round Again Records, Wool and Frog, 7 Rivers Trading Co., and Out of the Box Designs, are all new businesses that currently reside on the bottom floor of the shopping centre.

Pete Rose has owned Round Again Records since October 2020 and has moved three times within the building to continue expanding his business.

Before, he’d sell records at record collection shows for eight years and would travel to Calgary, Edmonton and to British Columbia and Saskatchewan. When he began to sell records in the lobby of Arcade Plaza, the landlord offered him a space. That’s when Rose’s passionate store-front business venture began.

“The community support has been really great,” says Rose. “I mainly use Facebook to show what is in my store and often people say that’s how they find out about Round Again Records. Then they leave to tell their friends, and the foot-traffic really grows from there.”

Rose grew up in Ontario listening to records with his father. He received a work transfer to Medicine Hat in 2009 while he worked with the military. When he retired, the store was his next chapter.

“People really love records here, and I’m thankful I was able to open this record store since it’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” Rose says.

Rose’s business neighbour, the Wool and Frog, opened in May 2021. Carol Penner set up a store full of premium wool, hand dyed yarn and hand-crafted Alberta made gifts to offer those in Medicine Hat a place to embrace their hobby of sewing, knitting and crocheting.

“I plan to host classes and events in the lobby, because it’s such a beautiful and spacious area,” says Penner. “The location is very central in Medicine Hat, and Arcade Plaza is a beautiful building.”

Penner is originally from Manitoba and has sewn for over 35 years. The space gives her the opportunity to run her store and have a backroom where she can work on her sewing projects and hand dyed yarn.

The newest tenant and business in the downtown plaza, 7 Rivers Trading Co., opened on July 13, 2021. Owners, Sheri Moore and Sarah McNeill were deeply inspired from the conversations about supporting local during the pandemic. They researched made in Alberta products and were pleasantly surprised with the number of creative items they discovered.

“What is being handmade in Alberta is truly amazing and we wanted to make those products easily accessible to those in Medicine Hat,” says McNeill.

McNeill says the two compiled a list of the “must haves” and looked for spaces in the city that would provide a boutique shopping experience, which they eventually found inside the Arcade Plaza.

“The whole idea of our business is to celebrate Alberta’s creators,” says Moore. “You can tell there is an immense amount of time, energy and care put into these items, and we really want to embrace and put a focal point on that.”

The store has items from candles, to dog treats, mugs, wine glasses, coffee, jam, preservatives and much more and are sourced from places like, Bragg Creek, Tilley, Taber, Sylvan Lake, Bow Island, Calgary, Edmonton, Airdrie, Canmore, Red Deer, Cochrane, and Medicine Hat.

Beside 7 River Trading Co., Carol Aspinall opened Out of the Box Designs in April 2021.

“For 45 years, I had a dream of opening my own shop with things I’ve made myself,” says Aspinall. “As far back as I can remember, I’ve always been a crafter, and I’m always learning new things.”

She participated in many markets around the city. Once she met the owner of the Arcade Plaza, she signed the lease that had her business move into a storefront in downtown Medicine Hat.

“I will be starting classes for all ages. I’ve already been approached by organizations who would be interested in them,” says Aspinall. “The community support really has been awesome.”

Arcade Plaza has welcomed a variety of business models into its building including Country Crumbs Café and Sugar Daddy Cheesecakes, who opened during the pandemic.

Arcade Plaza is located at 419 3rd Street S.E. and on