How Do You Spell Frenchy’s?


In the 1970’s when I was still a student at St FX University, I noticed that many of my Nova Scotian friends talked about a place called Frenchy’s. Second hand clothing, they said. Hummph! I was too proud to be caught dead in a place that sold used clothing! However, one day I found myself at a Frenchy’s because one of my friends needed a pair of shorts before we headed for the beach. Well, what was I supposed to DO in there? I started rummaging through the bins like everyone else. It kinda gets a hold of you; and before I knew it, I had lost my purse in one of those bins.

Shoppers at Frenchy’s that day were treated to an amazing sight – me, furiously rummaging through that bin in order to find my purse before anyone else did.  That would have been a find for sure!

Many years have passed since that day and now I find myself back in Nova Scotia after an absence of thirty-six years. What’s that? Frenchy’s is still here? And it’s grown bigger and bigger since that eventful day in 1974? Well, can you imagine, there’s one within walking distance of my house, and I’m here to tell you that I can now rummage with the best of them.

Once a week I go to do “mes commissions” which include a trip to the grocery store, gas, the second hand bookstore, and I usually finish up with a session at Frenchy’s. That’s a far cry from the shopping I did in Montreal. But there’s something so satisfying about finding a brand name item in excellent condition for 2 or 3 dollars. So far I have bought a great pair of drapes for the living room for 7$, an Indian cotton table cloth for $1.50, numerous shirts for Aaron, books and bags. I could be called the bag lady, so much I love bags. Frenchy’s does not disappoint!

What kind of people go to Frenchy’s? Well, from what I can see, they are a varied lot. From doctors and lawyers, to parents looking for a bargain, to book hunters and people like me who just love the thrill of finding some great treasure, you  find them all, methodically going through the bins. And that’s not all. The clothing is priced by the item, not the brand name; so you could pay 3$ for a shirt from Sears as well as a Hugo Boss shirt. As long as it’s a shirt it costs 3$

But going to Frenchy’s is not just about the great finds. I was talking to a lady over a bin of curtains the other day, and she told me she comes once a week to socialize. Some other adventurous souls will do a “Frenchy’s run”. That means they will go to Frenchy’s in Coldbrook, Berwick, Greenwood, Wilmot and Sackville all in one day. Just in case anyone is not sure how exactly to shop at Frenchy’s, there is a book available called Pardon My Frenchy’s that will help you get into a Frenchy’s mood,  it tells how to add zest to the experience and gives tips for initiating virgin Frenchy’s shoppers.

There is even a Frenchy’s song!

The song tells it all…

There is only one thing this convert has to say about it all, ” Move over Liz Claiborne and all you other snobby boutiques. I’m going to Frenchy’s!!”

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