How Alex Storey-Texmo reinvigorated (and relocated) a St. John’s retail landmark
CLOSING DOWN AND MOVING a business is never easy, but when you’ve got your mother’s big shoes to fill, it’s even harder. When the lease was up for home décor and gift shop Living Rooms in Churchill Square, owner Alex Storey- Texmo and her father made the decision not to renew—she wanted to do something different, but also honour her mother Dell Texmo’s memory. That’s no small feat, given Texmo’s legacy as a trailblazing female entrepreneur.
“I grew up in the Murray Premises (Living Rooms’ second location, in downtown St. John’s) wandering around all the hiding holes. I grew up in retail,” says Storey-Texmo. After 40 years of Living Rooms, Storey-Texmo decided to move the business and reinvent it in the neighbouring community of St. Phillips. The renovation completely transformed the space and the business, adding a selection of ready-to-eat meals. “I wanted to shift gears and give this community something they didn’t have.”
Now in its new home on Thorburn Road, the bright space is filled with light and delicious smells. There’s an open kitchen and the inventory of gifts and kitchen wares is similar to Livings Rooms, but now you can pick up dinner on the way home too. The shepherd’s pie, lemon loaf, chicken alfredo and spicy Thai soups that fill the refrigerators are a collection of Storey-Texmo’s recipes, her mother’s, and favourites of their family and friends—ready to grab-and-go.
Even the company name is an ode to her late mother. When Dell Texmo and her business partner, Penny Hansen, organized the first flea markets in the province, they did so under the name Kitchens Inc.