Michael Novack and Craig Bruce, center, at their ribbon cutting event last week with St. Croix Area Chamber of Commerce’s Jessie Delmonico, Varney Agency; Erika Pratt, Machias Savings Bank; Laurel Perkins, Downeast Economic Development; Chase Smith, First National Bank; Kaileigh Deacon, Downeast Credit Union; and Stan Sluzenski, St. Croix Regional Technical Center. (Photo by Jayna Smith)

New Garden Decor and Gift Store Fills Vacant Downtown Space


Jayna Smith
[email protected]

A new store has filled a space downtown, and its owners say they are looking forward to serving the community.  

The White Birch Exchange, at 345 Main Street in the former Urban Moose building, opened its doors last week.  

Owners Craig Bruce and Michael Novack are no strangers to border-town business, having recently moved from Windsor, Ontario, directly across the river from Detroit, Michigan where their online business was based.  

Now, the couple have made their home in New Brunswick with their new storefront in downtown Calais after wanting to leave “the craziness of the big city.”

The men say they are happy with their choice to relocate and are excited to be part of the St. Croix Valley community.  “Everybody has been so friendly and welcoming,” Bruce said.  

The White Birch Exchange offers gifts for all occasions.  With a focus on garden decor, the store also offers home decor, house and garden flags, kinetic mobiles, mailbox covers, greeting cards, art, candles, soaps, and more.  

Customers will appreciate seeing new items on the shelves frequently.  “Our goal is to not repeat the same things,” Bruce said.  “When things sell out, I want to change constantly.”  

Even more, according to Bruce, most of the items offered are priced at $40 or less.  “We are trying to keep everything at a buyable price.”

Bruce added, “We’re always going to carry clearance because we want to encourage people to try products at a discounted rate and just see if they like it, so if not, they haven’t spent a lot of money.”

Soon, the store will carry furniture pieces, including refurbished and upcycled items, by Bruce.  “We will be trying to keep the price point at a decent price, that’s really important to us,” he noted.

Novack and Bruce have had an online business–gardenhouseflags.com–since 2001, where over 5,000 products can be found.  The Calais store, however, will carry additional items not found on the website.  Likewise, because the store does not require shipping and handling, pricing will be less for most items found at The White Birch Exchange.  

The White Birch Exchange accepts cash and credit/debit cards and will soon offer gift certificates.  Its current hours of operation are Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  

Learn more by visiting Bruce and Novack at 345 Main Street, Calais or on Facebook at The White Birch Exchange (facebook.com/The-White-Birch-exchange-110374498261415).  


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