Healthy to the core

T.C. Demaresq browses for business news.

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Studio In Essence is now open above Spirit Spa at 1566 Barrington with grand opening celebrations planned for November 18. Studio In Essence specializes in pilates classes and also offers a number of dance classes including booty striptease, hip hop and break dance. Pilates instructor Christy Wade decided to open Studio In Essence after outgrowing the pilates program she used to offer through Nubody’s Fitness Centre. Wade has been a certified instructor for several years, having applied for her certification after graduating from NSCAD. “I didn’t want to have to rely on my artwork to support myself,” says Wade, but with her new studio doubling as an art gallery, she hopes to have time to make more art. Until then, she’ll continue her focus on sculpting the human form through pilates. “It’s all about strengthening from the core,” says Wade. “It’s a way of strengthening your body from the inside out, instead of from your biceps in… If you break it all down it’s really about posture and making your body more ergonomically efficient and stress-free.”

Heartsmart (and earth friendly)

The Heartwood Cafe at 6250 Quinpool celebrates 10 years in business on November 18. Owner, chef and manager Laura Bishop says Heartwood owes its success to lots of hard work, loyal customers, amazing staff and good food. “Keeping the faith with good food. Healthy food,” says Bishop. “There are a lot of food-related health issues and I think if you’re eating healthy food then your body’s healthy and the earth is healthy. You take care of the environment and yourself.” Heartwood offers vegetarian and vegan dishes and is one of the few locations in HRM where vegans can find a variety of options (beyond side salad and french fries). Heartwood also features local produce and the menu changes with the seasons, with emphasis on hearty, warming foods in winter and lighter, cooling foods in summer. “I think that’s what we naturally migrate to anyway,” says Bishop. “I certainly don’t want a big hearty soup when it’s 90 degrees out.”

Twist and shout

Shake it Up cafe is open in the former Grabba Jabba space in the South Park YMCA. Shake it Up specializes in protein shakes (with names like the Bomb, the Red Baron and the Block Builder), but offers a number of solid foods. Owner Karl Nordin (who also owns Body Active on Quinpool) says business is booming, especially the shakes, which are proving very popular with YMCA clients post-workout. “ help replenish the body with nutrients lost during the workout,” says Nordin. “It also puts protein into the body, which helps you recover quicker after training: you’re breaking down when you’re working out, then you’re growing back when you’re resting.”

Where there’s smoke...

...there isn’t always fire. King of Donair on Grafton at Pizza Corner is a case in point. “We didn’t have a fire,” says an employee. “We had a smouldering mess is what we had.” Apartments above the restaurant suffered the most damage, when the firefighters had to take apart walls to look for flames caused by an “electrical fault” in the building. The fire occurred around 8am on November 3, but KOD was able to re-open by 8pm. “It was just a matter of turning the power on and getting the smoke out. It wasn’t a big deal.”

Drugs for sale

Renovations to the Lawton’s Drug Store on Spring Garden are nearly complete and the drug store is now significantly larger, featuring much wider aisles. “It’s going to be much easier for people to get around and not worry about bumping into people or displays,” says manager Paul Stubbington. “It’s going to be a much friendlier look, a much more comfortable look. The other store just sort of looked old and tired, so this is new and fresh and I’m sure it’s going to be a lot more appealing.”

Hard hats required

Shop Talk has learned that construction on the former Royal Bank building at the corner of Spring Garden and Queen (owned by The Halifax Film Company) is anticipated to be complete mid-winter. Construction has been delayed by a design change to the building. The initial design included the addition of another floor, but that plan has since been dropped. The change led to new zoning considerations and a hiatus in construction. The zoning issues have now been resolved and construction is moving forward. Haligonians can look forward to buying venti coffees from Starbucks and sweatshop free sweatshirts from American Apparel in late winter/early spring.

Open and shut

The Loop is opening next to The Mudroom Cafe at 1541 Barrington on November 15 to serve all your knitting needs. ... The Brisket Boardwalk Deli and Shippey’s Brewing Company in the Harbourside Market have closed; Shop Talk will sorely miss their Blueberry, Banana and Apricot-flavoured beers. ... There are rumours of a new bookstore in downtown Dartmouth. ... Lastly, it is with sadness that we announce the closure of the Thirsty Duck. We’ll keep you posted on the details.

Another chapter. email: shoptalk@thecoast.ca.

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