Tyler Breukelman was painting pottery with his daughter at DIY Studio when he overheard the news about the owners looking to sell. He saw a great opportunity to take over the business, and in February he took over the location and renamed it The Hive Studio and Espresso Bar.
Breukelman has an entrepreneurial spirit and wanted to direct his energy into something creative and unique, even though his knowledge about pottery as limited at the time. He gives huge credit and thanks to the staff who have tonnes of insights and expertise. He says their creativity and support has made the ownership changeover a huge success.
The Hive Studio has incorporated local suppliers, their espresso bar is stocked by Rose N Crantz Coffee Roasting Co. and International House of Tea. Some of their baked goods are supplied by Sweet North Bakery, gluten-free pastries from A Gluten Free Harvest, and chocolates from Chocolate Cow.
Some of their pottery is supplied by the local artists.
“We have two types of pottery to choose from, earthenware and stoneware. All the pieces provided by local potters fall under the stoneware category and are at the bisque stage," Breukelman said. "For the stoneware, a customer can select something they like, glaze it and we fire it to a finished piece. For the earthenware, a customer selects a piece, paints it, applies a clear glaze and we fire to a finished piece. ”
The Hive Studio has a huge selection of eye-catching pottery to choose, ranging from mugs and plates to cute containers and mini figurines for customers to select and customize with their own paint designs. “We have a whole section of our shop that’s dedicated to local potters.”
They offer a firing service for local potters who don’t have a kiln of their own. There’s one dedicated staff member at the Hive who oversees all of the firing for the pieces. They offer two-step firing, from the clay piece to the bisque stage, then from the bisque to the finished work.
Breukelman has been developing take home kits to offer to customers.
“We select a piece off our shelf, and we package up some paint and paint brushes. So far we are in the Clay Collective in Goods and Co. So you can actually go down to Goods and Co. and pick up pre-packaged take-home kit. You can take home the kit, paint it however you like and bring it back to us for the finished firing.”
They hope to have these kits available at other retail locations in the coming months.
The Hive will also be offering some workshops, hosted by local artisans, teaching people hand-building and other pottery techniques. Attendees will be able to build their own piece from start to finish under the guidance of a professional.
They are fully licensed so there will be theme nights with beer and wine beverages available happening soon. Their main studio is a first come first serve basis. They also have a separate space that seats up to 14 people that can be reserved for special gatherings.
The Hive Studio and Espresso Bar is located at 71 Algoma Street S. and has a website with details about upcoming workshops and information about reserving the space for a party. Follow their Facebook page for current news and lots of great photos of the local pottery.