DBIA Featured Post: The Benevolent Stranger


Natalie Williams is the epitome of a small business owner. As the owner of The Benevolent Stranger, located at 212 Hunter St W in the middle of the trendy Café District, she aims to be a unique alternative to big box store culture. The shop is named after how Natalie sees the character Boo Radley from To Kill a Mockingbird. At first, people are hesitant and scared of him, only to realize he’s actually quite the opposite when they finally give him a chance, much like the shop. On top of it all, Boo Radley is also her friendly dog’s name, and you're sure to meet him at the shop!

Catering to an eclectic crowd who don’t want the everyday mall type experience and product, the Benevolent Stranger caries a wide array of products ranging from dresses, tops, pants, hoodies and wool jackets for women, to gifts from around the world such as knapsacks, journals, purses, jewelry, and even household items. Not leaving out the guys, she carries various clothing items for them as well, and the inventory is always changing.

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Natalie is always on the lookout for one of a kind items. You’ll find products in her store from countries such as Tibet, Thailand, India, and from large cities such as New York and Montreal. Always wanting to be unique and funky, if she doesn’t find the item to be interesting to her personally then she won’t sell it in her store.

What a lot of people are surprised about when they enter the shop is the wide range of products it carries. Towards the back of the well thought out space, Natalie houses a fully stocked smoke shop, carrying all accessories, and she even has dreadlock products, as well as Rasta and punk accessories.

Natalie loves the Café District area she has been located in for five years now since moving her business to Peterborough from Bomanville previously. The patio neighbourhood with its widened sidewalks and the Only Café with its sub culture following next door suit her personality perfectly, she says. She loves the sense of community the area has with great merchants and the events that are always taking place all around her shop year round.

Natalie invites you to come down to her unique shop to find items you definitely won’t find anywhere else!

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For more on The Benevolent Stranger (212 Hunter St W), go to:
Facebook: Benevolent Stranger
Phone: 705.748.0408

For more on Downtown Peterborough and the Downtown Business Improvement Area (DBIA), click here.

By Aaron Elliott