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n. pl. ni·ce·ties var. coll. Ni-ce-tys usage confined to Oakville 1. An elegant, delicate or refined feature; civilized; an amenity 2. The quality of showing or requiring careful, precise treatment.
NicetyS in Downtown Oakville | Geoff Godard
NicetyS in Downtown Oakville | Geoff Godard

Nicetys derives its name from that slightly archaic word that also describes how a formally set dining room table with plates and cutlery is finished with small touches that elevate it to elegance. Things like napkin rings, fine crystal, finger bowls and the like - the niceties.

Carol Lacher owns Nicetys. She explains the spelling: "We are a kitchen store. We were planning to carry a lot of unusual, or hard-to-find but useful, kitchen things. The little things in the kitchen, in other words, that will complement the high-quality kitchen and tableware we were going to carry. My husband Dirk said, ’You mean the niceties!’, and that is how the name was born."

Why the colloquial spelling?

"Well, my very talented husband began doodling logos and of course googled “niceties” for inspiration. All he got back were variations on Nice Ties! So, we decided on a unique spelling."

The two hearts over the “i” of Nicetys? 

"They are for my late mother and father, and a wonderful upbringing."

"So, Nicetys."

The trigger had been the upcoming Lakeshore redevelopment, scheduled to begin in 2019. In 2017 the owner of To Set a Table was approaching 75 years; she wanted to travel. Faced with a two-year disruption the Lakeshore reconstruction would bring she decided to wind up the business by then. 

Carol had worked there as a store manager for 15 years. Prior to that, she worked for 10 years at Embros, a well-loved kitchen store on Yonge Street at Summerhill in Toronto that specialized in hard-to-find high-quality kitchenware, now, sadly, replaced by condos. She knew the kitchenware business well. 

With that background, the idea of opening a successor to To Set a Table, planted in her mind by her husband, took root. With the encouragement of Dirk and the rest of their family the idea quickly grew to reality as To Set a Table was approaching its final months. 

Christmas was approaching, the best time for shoppers to see a new store. Carol wanted to keep it close to Town Square. 146 Lakeshore East was a small spot owned by a local Oakville family.

With the help of Dirk to build shelving and his handiness with lighting along with her sister Maureen, and her husband, Keith, the shape of the store came together quickly. Her sister-in-law, Holly joined in with her years of experience in shipping and receiving. 

With the enthusiastic help of her To Set a Table colleagues, who would staff the new store, Nicetys opened its doors within four weeks of conception, one week after the closure of To Set a Table forever, in November 2017. The Lakeshore disruption was about to begin and unknown to us all, Covid lurked in our future.

The new business was immediately successful, and well established by the time it ran into the headwinds caused by the reconstruction, then the pandemic.

There was another blow in late 2020 when Dirk passed away suddenly. He had, though, lived long enough to see the fledgling enterprise he had conceived and nurtured with Carol become a success. During this sad time, her loyal staff ran the business for her while she adjusted to her new reality.

The store carries a very wide variety of high-quality kitchenware and cookware. Carol likes cooking and baking and is less a merchant, more a curator, always on the lookout for unique and useful products she might use, for the store. She particularly seeks and supports Canadian artisans, whenever she can.

Two examples. The Wilson Boys create cutting boards from found treefalls, some embellished by random tracks left when electrical currents are induced in the sugars that remain in the fallen timber.

Wilson Boards | Geoff Godard
Wilson Boards | Geoff Godard

Another is Rick Barrick’s Candles, from Pennsylvania. Rick, with his father, developed a blend of paraffin waxes for candles that stand up to high temperatures. They burn cleanly and very slowly. No dripping. There is a crackle appearance in the wax that shows through as the candle (slowly) burns down. 

Geoff Godard
Geoff Godard

Today, the store is at 172 Lakeshore Road. The business had outgrown the original location. Carol was supported in this move by her landlord, which had acquired the building recently vacated by the clothing store Lolé.

The new space was designed, fixtures created and at the end of March 2022, the enterprise moved east from 146. So close, much of the stock was simply dollied up the street! 

At the time of writing the store is a bit hidden (except for the distinctive blue Nicetys sign) behind the unusual yellow façade that was Lolé. A new, welcoming entrance is on the way.

In the meantime, the business thrives. The very experienced and knowledgeable staff are managed by Carol’s niece, Paige Lachen, leaving Carol free to scour trade shows and the like for the things that make the store unique. Nicetys is now one of the most complete, well (and thoughtfully) stocked kitchen stores in the GTA. And it’s right here in downtown Oakville. 

Geoff Godard
Geoff Godard


172 Lakeshore Road East

(905) 338-0275

Monday to Saturday - 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Sunday - 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.