Northbound Supply Co. is fortunate enough to be in stores across the country. On our new blog, we want to share the stories of these amazing communities and local businesses.
Today, we’re taking you to the welcoming town of Carlyle, Saskatchewan, a popular destination for shoppers, families and international visitors alike. It’s a bustling hub of business and trade, has a strong and diverse economy, and is famous for its agriculture and surrounding nature.
Carlyle is also home to King’s Department Store, a beloved local clothing store that sells well-known brands like Matt and Nat, Columbia, The North Face and more. This second-generation business was founded in the 70s, and the current owner, Ken King, has been running King’s Department Store for 40 years.
As a long-time resident, Ken knows a thing or two about what draws visitors to Carlyle.
“People come from miles to visit Carlyle,” says Ken. “Our greatest strength is our location.” The town is at the crossroads of two major highways, is close to many scenic resorts and golf courses, and offers a great local shopping scene.
Since the pandemic, Ken notes that many people unable to travel to the US—specifically to shopping hubs in nearby North Dakota—have been visiting Carlyle in droves to experience everything the town has to offer.
Once you arrive, stop by Carlyle Bakery for the best cinnamon buns you’ll ever have.
“They’ve become famous for selling a dozen at a time,” says Ken, who adds that they’re delicious enough to make people stop traffic for a chance to buy them.
Grab a coffee to go at Michael’s Coffee Shop as you stroll the streets. After you’ve worked up an appetite, enjoy tasty, modern eats at The Office Bar and Grill—a great spot with a welcoming, contemporary atmosphere—or Kuzina Resto and Grill, featuring Western cuisine with Asian fusion.
The main building of King’s Department Store was built in 1985 during the “harvest from hell”, where it rained so much that tractors were stuck in fields, and local farmers would sail their boats or water ski on the land. “Our building managed to survive that rainfall and every other one since,” says Ken.
In 2012, the owner of the neighbouring ladieswear shop which had been operating since the 60s decided to retire. Ken and the team broke down the wall between their stores and combined shops, adding women’s clothing to their roster. Over the years, Ken says they have sold to customers who are grandparents now and were children when they first visited.
If you’re fortunate enough to visit King’s Department Store in the summer, you’ll get to experience their popular summer sale, aptly named “The Big One,” complete with live music and a tasty breakfast served to those in line. “People definitely plan their holidays around our big summer sale,” says Ken.
While the pandemic has been tough for retail businesses everywhere, Ken adds that they’ve been pleasantly surprised by the support businesses in Carlyle have received.
“We’ve really felt a sense of community and appreciation for what we have to offer,” he says. “So many new people have given Carlyle a chance during COVID because they were hesitant to visit the big city centres, and we’ve hopefully made a positive lasting impression that will encourage them to return.”
We’ve loved partnering with King’s Department Store, and are proud to be a part of their shop.
“Northbound Supply Co. definitely represents the lifestyle and vibe of rural Saskatchewan,” says Ken. “Every piece is practical, has a truly Canadian flair, and makes you feel like you are wearing something near and dear to your heart. It’s how we dress here!”
The next time you’re in Carlyle, whether you’re enjoying a scenic escape at White Bear Lake Resort, a nearby golf experience or just some shopping, we definitely encourage you to pay a visit to King’s Department Store.