Jamie and Tanisha Out and Toni Starkell are the team behind Forage General, a floral, coffee and gift shop located in downtown Salmon Arm at the corner of Alexander Street and the Trans-Canada Highway. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)

Jamie and Tanisha Out and Toni Starkell are the team behind Forage General, a floral, coffee and gift shop located in downtown Salmon Arm at the corner of Alexander Street and the Trans-Canada Highway. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)

Salmon Arm trio open small business with big city feel

Forage General offers flowers, coffee and a variety of unique gifts

If enjoying a pour-over coffee while creating a vibrant bouquet of flowers is a pairing that appeals to you, then you may want to pay Forage General a visit.

The newly opened business, located on the corner of Alexander Street and the Trans-Canada Highway (parking available by Domino’s Pizza) is the creation of Salmon Arm couple Tanisha and Jamie Out and business partner Toni Starkell. The space, open and uncluttered, was inspired, in part, by things and places the Outs enjoyed in Vancouver before moving back to Salmon Arm two years ago.

“We’ve always been drawn to those things, the minimalist aspect of things, and we wanted to incorporate that into this shop, into this spot,” said Jamie. “And just to kind of give people that experience, stepping into something that maybe they haven’t seen before, they have’t experienced.”

Tanisha, an experienced florist, explained part of the concept behind the store’s flower bar is that it allows customers to be creative with their flower arrangements if they wish to be.

“Before I was a florist, I’d go into flower shops and you’d feel almost intimidated or you didn’t have the freedom to create,” said Tanisha. “So that was kind of the idea with this, to make it an experience where people felt comfortable to be creative and build their own. Or else I could help them through.”

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Along with the assorted fresh flora, Forage General also offers coffees, teas, baking supplied by local bakeries, and a variety of products that fit with the store’s look and feel.

Asked about the store’s name, Jamie said the “Forage” part came from a book about military tanks from the First World War.

“One had this amazing hand-drawn maple leaf, and it said “forage” in really unique writing,” Jamie explained. “I was so drawn to that picture and that word, and it just tied in really well with the idea of foraging for flowers, for greenery and stuff. So we just brought that idea into the name of this. “

When health restrictions are no longer limiting public gatherings, Jamie and Tanisha are looking forward having window seating for those looking to enjoy a beverage and/or a baked goodies, and they also hope to host a variety of workshops.

Jamie, Tanisha and Toni, and their families put in a lot of the work needed to get Forage General ready for opening. Some of that help came from Tanisha’s brother, Greg Sebell (Sczebel), who recently co-opened the restaurant BLK BOX in Kelowna.

“My brother and I have always been creative together,” said Tanisha, adding she comes from a family of entrepreneurs.

Forage General is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Fridays, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

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