In recent years Griffintown has experienced a major expansion of local stylish deco stores, including the arrival of such hot shops as West Elm, Beige Style, and EQ3, but this past March 28th it was Must Societé that opened its doors with an entirely new concept. Without any publicity stunts or promotions, this new shop’s popularity is only growing and they have the foot traffic to prove it.
Located on Peel Street, the shop appears, at first glance from the outside, rather sober, with an average size window that makes it virtually impossible to predict what awaits you inside. The design, created by Louis Gagnon from Paprika, is revealed to us in sections like a box of surprises. We quickly remarked on the size of the new-genre concept, masterfully thought out by father-son duo Eric and William Corbeil, a name reminiscent of another well-known, high-end furniture giant in Quebec.
This One-Stop Shop, as William likes to describe it, is a concept worth seeing. We’re first welcomed in the elegant Living section. This is where we find a wide selection of urban style furniture and decorative items, all with lots of personality. The pieces were carefully selected by the team in order to appeal to the neighborhood, which is composed mainly of young professionals who are also buying their first condo. Their aggressive pricing strategy also aims to seduce those looking for some individuality in their furniture, without necessarily spending all their savings.
A large Kitchen section follows, complete with many accessories, each more charming than the last. The race ends in the Garden section, where there is a wide range of outdoor furniture to accommodate all spaces, from small balconies to the large terraces. For those looking for something more sleek and luxurious, the French design house Ligne Roset has its own section offering more high-end items.
However, what makes the concept original is undoubtedly the integration of other shops and the major role they play in the MUST experience. There are, among others, Fillion Electronics for audiovisual needs, and Prune-Les-Fleurs, which sells plants and flowers masterfully put together by Nadine Jazouli (new collections weekly). Note that special orders are possible, and workshops will soon be given regularly.
Want more? You can also shop at Must with a baguette under your arm. La Bête à Pain bakery has established a permanent residence in the shop thanks to Marc-André Royal, the owner and chef of St-Urbain restaurant.
Royal is also among the leaders invited to give cooking classes in the Steam kitchen, built for this purpose. They also confirmed several collaborations with some of the most prominent restaurants in the neighborhood, especially the Tuck Shop. Cooking classes will begin this May and the schedules will be shared in store and on their Facebook page.
Fully adapted to its neighborhood, the shop, which will likely be replicated in other areas of the city or the province will, however, not necessarily be the same everywhere: "Must Company must really be glued to the community, in this case Griffintown. The elements we added are here because we believe there was a gap to fill. We incorporated a bakery because there was none in the area, same for the florist," says William Corbeil. "Our future stores in different areas will not necessarily be carbon copies; this is not a set recipe, they must be adapted," he adds.
You have to check it out, and don’t forget to bring your wallet (and camera)!