North end migration

T.C. Demaresq browses for business news.

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The Frenchy's on Gottingen is on the move. After almost two years of providing north end residents with a bevy of bargain-priced secondhand threads, the store closed its doors on July 31. The store's set to re-open the week of Aug. 15 at 2713 Robie, just a short distance away from its old stomping grounds. "It's only like four or five blocks away...so we'll hopefully retain most of our customers," says Frenchy's manager Moises Aguirre. The Gottingen building housing the store was sold, so the move became necessary, says Aguirre. As the store switches spots, it will also be modifying its set-up—the old location split its wares between two floors, and the new Frenchy's will be a one-floor operation, but will still have the same amount of retail space as its predecessor. Plus, the new building's nicer, adds Aguirre. "It's a lot brighter...and it's a newer building." To prepare for the move, Aguirre has been trying to sell off most of the merchandise at the Gottingen location. The plan, he says, is to come in with "all brand-new, fresh" clothes when the store re-opens at its brand-new, fresh home.

Barking up the right tree

The first Atlantic Canadian branch of Ontario-centric dog-supply chain Bark and Fitz is set to open its doors to the public on Doyle beside Sweet Jane's by Aug. 10. The store's owner/manager, Christine Greening, is hoping to roll out the retail red-carpet not just for dog-owners, but for their canine friends as well. "It's pet friendly," says Greening. "You can come right in with your dog." The shop boasts a doggie spa (Greening's looking for a groomer ASAP), as well as "The Barkery," a bakery display case filled with fresh-baked dog treats. There's also a giftware section, with products ranging from machine-washable frisbees to dog raincoats and life jackets, and a big food section. Bark and Fitz also aims to help home d<0x00E9>cor enthusiasts buy pet products that work with their house's design scheme. "We want our homes to...look like we have a dog in them—but we don't want our homes to look like a dog house," says Greening. The store's prices appear fairly reasonable (although one imagines most pet-owners will find the $245 pet carrier a little pricey). And take heart, cat lovers: Bark and Fitz offers a limited supply of kitty-centric products, too. Check out: barkandfitz.com.

Let them eat (cup)cake

Ever drooled over the yummy-looking cupcakes on display every morning at the Coburg Coffee House counter? They're actually the handiwork of baker Yvonne Bertrand (who also supplies Coburg with brownies). Bertrand is now looking to share the dessert-love with Dartmouth residents—her new cupcake-centric bakery A Piece of Cake Bake Shoppe opened on Ochterloney (behind Heatwave Fashions) a couple weeks ago, and she'll be throwing a grand-opening shindig sometime in September. Bertrand has been baking since she was four, and has been baking professionally for the last two years—supplying various local businesses, weddings, corporate meetings and birthday parties with tasty, tasty snacks. "It's been really successful, so it was time to launch a small little bakery," says Bertrand. Even with the shop open, Bertrand plants to still continue offering (and perhaps even expand) her catering services. The shop itself is open during the summer from Monday-Friday, 10am-3pm; once fall hits, Bertrand plans to extend these hours, and to begin offering organic Fair Trade coffee and take-out sandwiches alongside her muffins, cookies, brownies, scones, squares and (you guessed it) cupcakes. Bertrand says she might hire help in the future, but for now, she's baking solo. This sounds like a lot of baking for one lady, but she's not complaining. "This doesn't feel like work," Bertrand says. Check out: cupcakebakeshoppe.com.

Oh, fishy, fishy, fishy fish!

This week also brings some exciting news for ecologically conscious seafood lovers. (This is Halifax, so we know you're out there.) Fish distributor Alyssa Foods, from Lower East Pubnico, has begun marketing a line of sustainably caught groundfish; the line will be available at Home Grown Organic Foods on Allan by Saturday. The fish set to arrive have been caught by hook and line, rather than by trawler. Hook-and-line fishing catches fish one by one, rather than en masse, and causes less damage to groundfish habitat than trawlers with bottom-dragging nets do. The fish will be available at Home Grown Organic Foods in one-pound, vacuum-sealed, frozen packs; those interested get a choice between cod, haddock, pollock and hake. The store has been able to offer a similar product sporadically in the past, but this marks the first time the store will be receiving regular shipments of sustainable seafood, says shop owner Geordie Ouchterlony. "This is going to be a much more dedicated supplier of this product." People signed up for the store's delivery service will also be able to receive the seafood in their food boxes. Mmmm. Sustainability and convenience. And fish. Learn more at: www.hgof.ns.ca.

Diner Deets

Due to smoke and water damage following a fire, Mollyz Diner and the Menz Bar at 2104 Gottingen will be closed until after August 2.

If you’ve had a fire, or just some business news to share, email: shoptalk@thecoast.ca.

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