If you’ve wandered down Euclid Avenue, you may have noticed a new shop that recently opened its doors. Inside Provisions St. Louis, you’ll find a plethora of unique items, ranging from special interest books to small leather goods.
Plus, you’ll always receive a warm welcome upon entering. Owners Ross and Debra Hunter recently relocated from the West Coast, and even though their shop has only been open for a little over a month, they already feel at home in the Central West End.
Welcome to St. Louis! I understand you both have an extensive background in the retail industry?
Ross Hunter: We have both worked in the luxury retail business for our entire careers. Deb worked in the fashion office for Macy’s Corporate and then became a homemaker and made raising our kids (and me) a priority. I was the Merchandising Director for Wilkes Bashford (a nationally renown San Francisco luxury retailer). Before we moved to St. Louis, we both worked for the Academy of Art. Deb worked in the galleries and I taught in the Fashion School. We have two adult children. Our daughter followed in our footsteps and now works in high-end street fashion in Miami and our son is a ZAGAT rated chef in Seattle.
You are originally from California — what brought you to the Midwest?
Ross Hunter: We were a couple of the fortunate few that didn’t lose everything in the NorCal fires of 2017, and took it as a sign that it was time for a change. Deb had been wanting to leave California for the Midwest, as there is so much happening here and we were looking for somewhere with four seasons… so we renovated our home, picked up, and moved. We couldn’t be happier. People are beyond friendly and so welcoming.
What do you like the most about working together?
Ross Hunter: We’ve been married for 38 years and have always operated as a team. We are a good balance for each other. We don’t compete, we compliment each other.
Why did you choose the CWE as the location for your shop?
Ross Hunter: We chose the CWE because of the diversity and energy. We knew it the day we came through to explore. The quality of the other businesses in the neighborhood are such a compliment, not to mention how supportive they have all been.
What can people expect when they walk inside Provisions St. Louis?
Ross Hunter: Our main focus is to be a place where people can find a shared experience and engage in good conversation. We have — what we’ve been told — a nicely curated collection of skincare, grooming, apothecary products, coffee table and special interest books, small leather goods and travel accessories (all carry-on size), barware, sunglasses, watches, home goods, and last but not least, dog coats. Plus, we always have adult beverages and spin vinyl.
Wow you have so many unique items inside your store! Can you tell us about some of your favorite products/brands?
Ross Hunter: Most of our grooming and skincare products are all small batch and American made. Filson travel bags made in Seattle, pocket knives, waiters knives, and money clips with beautiful inlay, are all made in Santa Fe. Long story short, we only buy things we love.
For those that don’t know, what are your store hours?
Ross Hunter: We are open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 to 6-7ish, Sunday 12-5, and closed on Mondays. Many times, I’m in the store early re-merchandising and am happy to let people in earlier. When we are extra busy, like during the holidays, we’ll stay open late. We live in the neighborhood so the commute (walk home) is a breeze.
Any exciting plans for 2019?
Ross Hunter: After only being open a little over a month, our goal for 2019 is to fine-tune our merchandise mix, be involved in the community, and get out and explore this fantastic city.