Like lifting the lid of a treasure chest, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of walking into Rubaiyat. As you step off the street, you’re instantly basked in the warm light that passes through hand-crafted glass, and glints mysteriously off jewels waiting to be discovered. There are so many unique finds that line both sides of this amazing historical space, and the first step of your journey begins here.
The question is… Wander left or amble right?
Whichever path you choose, a rare collection awaits. Many items cannot be found elsewhere in Calgary, AB and in some cases, are not carried anywhere else in Canada. Though well-known for their intricate and eye-catching jewelry, Rubaiyat specializes in the non-traditional and unconventional.
“Our mission is to provide our customers with the absolute best customer service and products. We have set our retail space to flow like a gallery and encourage guests in the store to enjoy our ambiance,” explains Morgan Haight, part of the second generation of Rubaiyat.
Her parents, David and Pam Haight, recognized the need to showcase the variety of quality handcrafts being made by artists locally and across Canada in the 1970’s. After graduating from the University of Calgary, they established Rubaiyat in 1973, and opened their 17th Avenue location in 1978, in what was once the National Bakery. A trip downstairs reveals original freezers repurposed as storage spaces, and a conveyer belt that still climbs the wooden stairwell. The history of the building and its location appealed to the Haights.
“17th avenue offered an unparalleled vibrant and diverse community that caters to pedestrian and small, independent business owners. It was the perfect fit for a bohemian style gallery with a broad range of clients of all ages and backgrounds,” Morgan continues.
Maintaining their extensive collection definitely keeps the Haights busy, but when they are ready to unwind, they too can be found enjoying their favorite spots on 17th Ave.
“We are a family business with two generations working in the company, so our tastes differ a little,” explains Morgan with a smile. “Brava Bistro and Cilantro are always lovely spots for a quiet dinner. National and Una guarantee a good night out. In the summer, the Melrose patio is beautiful.”
Though summer has not quite arrived, there is definitely a feeling of spring in Rubaiyat. A wander through the store reveals an elegant new collection of outdoor furniture, pots, water features and garden statuary. This year also marks an important milestone for the store.
In celebration of their 40th anniversary, and the re-branding of 17th avenue SW, Rubaiyat is offering all shoppers 10% off of regular priced merchandise, only for the day of April 20th, 2013. Pick up your shopping bag in Tomkins.
For more information about upcoming events, visit rubaiyatcalgary.com.
Find it on 17th Ave – 722 17th Avenue SW.