The slow-burning success of the hit Canadian comedy series Schitt’s Creek is a testament to the talent behind it. The fish-out-of-water series focuses on a wealthy family forced to live below their means. However, just because it’s a fictional, often sensational view of out-of-touch rich people, it doesn’t mean that its premise can’t be right. Communities like Schitt’s Creek exist throughout the world. One, in particular, saw an opportunity to embrace this.
What is Schitt’s Creek?
As IMDb notes, when the Rose’s have to move to the titulars small town that the patriarch, Eugene Levy’s Johnny Rose, purchased for his son as a joke, they do not take it well. Initially repulsed by small-town life, the Rose Family, played by Catherine O’Hara, Annie Murphy, and Eugene’s son and co-creator, Dan Levy, eventually adjust. As the series moves on, the family gets more involved through local politics, community events, and business. During later seasons, they even open up a store called Rose Apothecary.
What is Rose Apothecary?
Speaking about the fictional Apothecary, David Rose described it as more than a place to buy goods. “It’s a general store,” he said in one episode. “But, it’s also a very specific store. It’s also not just a store, it’s like a place where people can come and get coffee or drinks, but it’s not a coffee shop, nor is it a bar. Yeah, it’s an environment. And yes, we will be selling things, but it’s more like a branded immersive experience.” As Screenrant notes, the series’ store is a strange amalgamation of David’s equally peculiar brand. However, while the show is outrageous in its many depictions, it doesn’t mean that it’s entirely fictional. Stores like this exist around the world. One town in New York took this to heart to help their local community.
Sharon Springs is not the first place people think of in New York. A small town that, while not an inspiration for Schitt’s Creek, inarguably bears more than a few similarities. Sharon Springs has all the down-home charm that one might expect from an upstate community. One of its most popular attractions, a general store called Beekman 1802, bore more than a few similarities to Rose Apothecary. From this, a marketing opportunity was born. According to Caitlin Scott, the merchandising manager at Beekman 1802, the show’s themes run concurrently with the brand they’ve helped build. As such, she sees the partnership, not as a sell-out point but a natural progression in both brands.
“It’s very similar,” Scott told Record Online about the partnership. “It’s about a family who really lost everything and … without their neighbors, they really couldn’t become who they were. They create this world where everybody helps each other, and that’s kind of (true) with Beekman too.” According to Scott, the partnership began when more than a few mercantile customers noted the similarities between the fictional store and the real-world counterpart. To boost revenue not just for the show but also for the city, they designed it similar to the store without having to do much. To add some authenticity, they even secured Rose Apothecary branded perfumes, soaps, and lip balms. Scott explained how this happened.
The popup Rose Apothecary
Scott said that the similarities were borderline uncanny before the show even hit the air. As such, it did not require a massive facelift to get it where it needed to be. It just took some care and creativity. “We just went through each part of the store to try and look those subtle moments that really made sense with our store,” Scott told the website. “We just tried to look at those little details … and just tried to match that.”
The success of the popup store, however, goes well outside the store’s constraints. Local businesses have noticed that the partnership did not just serve a gimmicky purpose. It let people see the real-life charm that inspired Schitt’s Creek, just like other cities like it. “People just are drawn here,” Tony Daou, the owner of a nearby cafe, told Record Online about the success of the partnership. “There’s something like magic up here.”
Interested parties do not have to travel to upstate New York to purchase these goods, however. Beekman’s Rose Apothecary line is available online to anyone willing to pay for the shipping. Schitt’s Creek might not have known about this specific community when Dan and Eugene Levy created it. However, the series’s sentiments are on full display through Beekman and stores all around the country. However, this particular store leaned in even heavier to make the show’s charm into a business opportunity.