By Madelynne Kislovsky
FAIR HAVEN – Canyon Pass Provisions, a new clothing store in Fair Haven that serves as a one-stop outlet for outdoor sportswear and gadgets, has opened its Dutch doors to nature-loving customers in Fair Haven. The retail shop’s mission is clear immediately upon crossing the threshold. The natural beauty of the wooden fixtures, handy camping gear, and the serene coo of songs from Imagine Dragons sets the scene that this space is about the active outdoors living.
Canyon Pass Provision’s motto is: “Get lost, see what you find.”
“We love the message,” said Derek DeBree, who stumbled upon the phrase during a walk in Wompatuck State Park in Hingham, Mass. “You have to be a little uncomfortable at times to make big moves. It’s certainly an exciting new chapter for us, and it is uncomfortable and scary at times, but we’re very excited about it.”
The couple opened the store at 733 River Road in a space they chose especially because of its grassy lawn and proximity to the park where Derek spent his youth. A grand opening party will be held Friday from 6-9 p.m.
Before it was Canyon Pass Provisions, the space was a 9-room dentist’s office, featuring drop ceilings and several small exam rooms. To completely transform the building to meet their vision, the DeBrees spent half a year knocking down the enclosed office to create a huge open space.
With help from friends from the Fair Haven Volunteer Fire Company, where Derek is a volunteer and former chief, wooden beams were put up to create an outdoorsy atmosphere in the shop.
Almost everything in the store was selected by the DeBrees, including the handmade fixtures and the stairs, which were built from the repurposed lath (wood that is placed behind the plaster in a building) from the dentist.
The DeBrees are excited to sell environmentally-friendly goods such as Toad & Co, Prana, Lole, Kuhl, Outdoor Research, Pistil Pat’s, Hydroflask and Stanley. In fact, some customers have even wandered in to ask about the store, after recognizing the brand names posted outside the shop.
At Canyon Pass, women’s attire is organized towards the front of the store, with the men’s in a corner towards the rear. An average purchase in Canyon Pass may range from $70-$90.
Canyon Pass offers not just clothing and shoes, but accessories, books on hiking, useful hiking tools such as back- packs, thermal underwear, camp chairs, water bottles (the DeBrees believe that everyone should have a water bottle at all times), blankets, as well as Rescued Wine candles, which are made out of repurposed wine bottles and soy wax candles. A portion of each sale of one of these candles is donated to animal rescue groups.
Almost all of Canyon Pass’s products are ones that give back, and have some type of community benefit to their purchase. Another example of this is “Roma,” a company that was star ted by a man from Romania who was poverty-stricken and significantly impacted by his first pair of rain boots, which he got at 8 years old. He now donates a pair of rainboots for every pair purchased, and performs boot drops to under-privileged communities all over the world.
“The product is excellent, you don’t have to compromise to support good causes. People realize now, it can go hand in hand,” Genevieve said.
The DeBrees are huge fans of the national parks and also Block Island, where they have had many memorable hiking trips with their children, a senior at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, and a daughter who is a sophomore in college. But they also find lots to love about nearby Hartshorne Woods.
“We really love being outside as a family,” said Genevieve. They plan to start organizing hikes for people who have interest in hiking, and will leverage Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to build community. “We’d like to be a resource to help people get outside, again that’s really our bottom line,” Genevieve said.
It was around this time, on their opening day Tuesday, that a praying mantis soared into the room on a breeze.
“That’s pretty unusual, huh? I think it’s good luck. That’s how I see it,” Genevieve said. Derek calmly used two Canyon Pass cups to persuade the insect back outside. “The pleasures of an open door,” Derek said.
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