Downtown shop owner goes on own terms
By Zander Kelly
After almost 50 years Riaz Bhatti is ready to retire.
Bhatti, 71, is the owner of World Cottage, an antiques and trinkets shop at 553 Ouellette Ave. World Cottage opened in the early 1970s with $20 and a lot of brainpower.
“When your brain is good… it’s easy,” said Bhatti. “When you have no money, it’s easy. When you have money, it’s hard.”
As a young married couple, he and his wife started their first business selling incense from the back of their van.
World Cottage is filled with all sorts of items for sale including shirts, statues of elephants, pipes, swords and much more. Some of these items are unique or no longer available anywhere else in the world.
Bhatti said it is a little hard closing his business, but the building is staying in the family.
“I’m giving it to my kids,” said Bhatti. “They are opening a law office here.”
Scott Meadows has been a customer at World Cottage for as long as he could remember. His grandfather was a friend of Bhatti’s.
“The first thing I purchased was a sword, a decorative sword.” said Meadows.
Meadows had much to praise about the shop. “It’s got the widest range of t-shirts in the city,” said Meadows. “He’s literally got thousands of t-shirts and paintings,”
Whether or not all his stock is sold, the final day of operations at World Cottage is June 30.
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