Charles Brand, owner of The Rock Shop in Collingwood Downtown has had a passion for rocks ever since his parents brought him to the shores of Georgian Bay for an afternoon of swimming in Craigleith when he was a boy. It was the first time he had ever seen and been able to touch a fossil with his own hands and it was the start of his life-long passion for rocks, gems and minerals.
During his corporate career in the automotive industry, Charles had the opportunity to travel a lot across the country and during every business trip, he picked up something new to add to his growing collection. Fascinated by the beauty, math and science of rocks and minerals, Charles turned his zeal for gifts from the earth into a business.
The Rock Shop started as an on-line business in 2008 and Charles wanted the business to grow into an experiential environment where people could feel free to touch and play with rocks, minerals and crystals. “The Rock Shop opened in 2013 and since then, we have really grown into a destination store. People come from all over the place to visit and I’m out there across Canada at 8 or 9 rock and mineral shows per year, promoting the shop and promoting Collingwood,” says Charles. “It’s been more fun than I could have ever imagined and for that I’m grateful. To be able to work and play somewhere you love and operate a business that I’m so passionate about has been completely amazing. When you run a business in a place like Downtown Collingwood, you really become stewards of the town. All of the small businesses downtown are unique and we all support and promote each other,” continues Charles.
Charles was drawn to Collingwood because of the clean, fresh living environment so close to the water and the forests. As an outdoor enthusiast, he enjoys Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, mountain biking, and swimming. “It’s not just winter activities that I enjoy, this is really a place where you can ‘live, work and play’ all year round,” affirms Charles.
Fun fact: Charles has not only hosted a Gaslight Theatre production at The Rock Shop, he’s also acted in three of the plays.
Offering thousands of rocks, gems, minerals and crystals in all shapes and sizes, as well as jewellery and unique gifts, The Rock Shop located at 179 Hurontario Street is a fascinating destination store to explore and hunt for your next treasure. Find them online at www.collingwoodrockshop.net/ on Facebook www.facebook.com/AppeallingEnvironments/ or Instagram www.instagram.com/collingwoodrockshop/?hl=en.