Shop Local: The Canterbury Shop

“During my career with WCPSS, I experienced first hand the impact local charities and individuals make in the lives of students and families.”

—Lucelia Selden, retired school principal and current co-chair of The Canterbury Shop

Tucked into a corner at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church is The Canterbury Shop: It’s the only in-parish retail space in the Raleigh area, which offers an appealing array of merchandise. You can purchase home decor, apparel, items for entertaining, kids toys and apparel, seasonal decor, greeting cards and stationery, as well as a curated selection of religious gifts, bibles, and faith-based books. Shop co-chair Lucelia Selden says there is something for everyone, even the Most Rev. Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church. Selden became co-chair after years spent working in the Wake County Public School System. “It seemed like a natural fit for me to work in a shop which contributed directly to charities working with students and their families.” The inviting and cozy space welcomes not only church members, but the entire community. While only open during morning hours, it is a convenient stop when running errands or grabbing a bite for lunch. Here, visitors will be sure to find a gift that keeps on giving. The sentiment may be cliché, but the shop’s singular mission is community outreach. 100 percent of the shop’s earnings are donated to Wake County nonprofits, including Alliance Medical Ministry, Family Promise of Wake County, Green Chair Project, InterAct, Raleigh Rescue Mission, StepUp Ministry, and Triangle Family Services. Grants to nonprofits in 2017 amounted to $21,000, bringing total funds donated since the shop’s inception in 1997 to $100,000.

The shop’s reach is far and wide, especially for a space that measures only 200 square feet, is open less than 20 hours per week, and is run entirely by a staff of unpaid volunteers. It is the army of volunteers that make The Canterbury Shop a success. The shop is run by 35 women: They are welcoming, gracious, hard-working, and deeply passionate about their mission. So dedicated, in fact, that shop buyer Frances Fontaine says, “not a single volunteer has failed to show up for her shift.”

In July, the shop received a facelift. With a fresh coat of paint and boutique style upgrades, The Canterbury Shop hopes to entice new customers to, as their new slogan suggests, go forth and give. —Katherine Poole

1520 Canterbury Rd.; holymichael.org/canterbury-shop