Local business and consumer news. Openings, closings, deals, sales, what to buy and where to buy it, we round it all up and give you an insider's shopper's special on small business in Halifax. Contact shoptalk@thecoast.ca to send a tip.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Noelle’s makes really good cookies

After 10 years, Noelle’s custom cookies are still going strong

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2009 at 5:27 PM

Noelle’s a local business, nestled in Waverley, though it doesn’t have a retail storefront that you’ll be able to find, and it ships across the country and to places as far flung as California and Germany. “We just do custom orders and we only do cookies,” says owner Noelle Milligan. The cookies have kept her busy growing a customer and fan base, with local service still the mainstay. “I started out as a stay-at-home mom looking to earn a little extra money and have grown to a four employee operation that now counts some of Halifax’s biggest corporations among its list of clients.” The cookies are a ginger/molasses, some are undecorated---called bundles---but most can be custom made any way you like. Try 860-2418 or visit the new and rebranded website, noelles.ca.
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Brewdebaker’s Part Deux

A second location of the brewery and grill opens

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2009 at 5:23 PM

A second location of Brewdebakers---the first is at 612 Windmill in Dartmouth ---has moved into 287 Lacewood Drive in Clayton Park, the former home of the Lone Star Texas Grill.
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The Hub hubbub

Barrington Street community meeting space opens grandly

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2009 at 5:22 PM

On Friday June 5, The Hub (1673 Barrington St. 2nd floor, 482-4729) has its official launch from 8:30am to 6:30pm, offering the space for free to work in all day, including a series of in-house events; an ideas breakfast, a story-of-The-Hub lunch and live music and snacks at 4pm.
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Halifax Bike Week rolls

Local businesses offer discounts to cyclists

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2009 at 4:00 AM

If you ride your bike to the following restaurants and cafes in the coming week, expect discounts as follows:

Mid-East Food Centre (2595 Agricola) is offering 10 percent off everything in the place, Just Us! locations at 5896 Spring Garden and 1678 Barrington are giving 20 percent off drinks, and The Daily Grind (5686 Spring Garden) is offering 15 percent off anything from the cafe (but not the newsstand).

Click here for the complete list of events.
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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Go local in the Hydrostone

Go local with The Coast as we visit neighbourhood businesses across the city. This week, we visit the tony Hydrostone area of the north end.

Posted By on Wed, May 27, 2009 at 10:20 PM

The big news in the tony Hydrostone Market is that the delightful Rogi Orazio Pasta & World Cucina has closed. Hamachi Kita, now at 5543 Young, will be moving into the Rogi Orazio space at 5537 Young this week. Hamachi Kita will move one door over and a casual bistro, called Little Europe, will be opened by the Hamachi folk. They'll still carry some of the Rogi dishes like gelato and pasta, but with sandwiches added to the menu as well.

The space occupied by Dignity by Design at 5530 Kaye will soon be filled with a new business: Ed's Unique Gift Store (830-7815), which will house a number of businesses under one roof, says owner Ed Levick. "I put images on canvas, art and photos. They last forever." He describes the new venture as a co-operative of sorts. Along with his work, expect gift bags, toys made from recycled materials, chocolate and ice cream.

At Maritime Beer & Wine Making Supplies (5528 Kaye, 454-8278) they're experiencing a bit of a lull, says employee Jack Stone. "People like to make beer and wine in cooler weather. This is an indoor activity." That said, he thinks a "tanking" economy is a plus, with people wanting to save money by making their own beer and wine---and, presumably, having more reason to drink. You'll find monthly specials for wine kits and fruit wine kits.

Toulany's Lunch Box (3081 Gottingen, 455-5535) specials include lasagna with Caesar salad ($5.99) and both Caribbean jerk chicken and more mid-east fare such as kafta, fatier, falafel and veggie plates, with freezers full of frozen treats. On the eastern-most end of the Hydrostone Market is the Alliance Francaise (5509 Young, 455-4411), the French language and cultural centre, offering classes for adults and kids, including individual tutoring and corporate business classes. Next door is Rusty Hinges (5513 Young) in the space once occupied by Topiary. If it looks surprisingly similar, that's because Rusty Hinges used to supply Topiary with iron pieces and garden products. Rusty Hinges has been in business for 11 years and was located across the street for less than a year before moving into this space. They manufacture furniture and products for the cottage, home and garden using old shelving units, mirrors, cabinets, signs, birdhouses and dressers. Other items include soap, candles and bubblebath. Call Saundra MacKenzie at 406-1056 for more information, or just drop in.

Basking in their recent 2009 Best of Food reader's poll win for Best Bakery, Julien's (5517 Young Street, 455-9717) is irresistible for anyone wandering by with a taste for fresh bread and sweets. The home bakery---in Chester---has recently been renovated, so there's even more of their popular baked goods to be enjoyed, delivered daily. Julien's also sells fair trade organic coffee roasted in the valley, and does custom orders and catering.

Lady Luck has been open approximately 13 months, operated by Melanie and Jennifer Huntley in this second location of the business, with the first in Historic Properties on the Waterfront. It's a bright, open store, showcasing all made-in-Canada jewellery, as well as bags, candles, cards, retro-styled bathing caps and cosmetic bags made from bathing caps. In the back is the Hydrostone Gallery, featuring paintings through June by Michael Lewis.

Chrysalis Spa & Skin Care Centre (5521 Young, 446-3929) will have been open seven years this June and is celebrating by introducing Canadian-made Daniel Thompson Mineral Cosmetics to Halifax. Thompson will be at Chrysalis Saturday June 6 doing makeup applications.

The stalwart Antique Shoppe (5515 Young, 471-2448) is offering a deal on old vinyl, a dollar each or 15 for $10. We found Best of Styx, The Carpenters Christmas Album and a whole whack of Roger Whittaker records. Next door is Bogside Gallery (5527 Young, 453-3063) offering unique crafts and gifts created by local and national artisans. Epicurious Morsels has a dynamite weekend brunch menu, including Belgian waffles, banana pancakes and stuffed French toast.

Sappho Griffin and Denise Coulter have plenty on their hands at henhouse (5533 Young, 423-4499). Offering custom furniture since 2001, they've recently started two new lines: one clean and contemporary and one with a more rustic elegance. They also build custom kitchens, with a showroom right in the store. The home accessories are still on site as well, with a full third of the store devoted to a new kids line; toys and such.

The pizza king, Salvatore's Pizzaiolo Trattoria, (5541 Young, 455-1133) has been once again anointed by Coast readers with Best Pizza Pie in the city award. Long may it reign. LK Yarns (5545 Young, 431-9633) has a bundle of handmade yarn ends on sale at the moment, from Fleece Artists and Hand Maidens.

If you continue up the street (Isleville, specifically) from the Hydrostone Market you'll find Kay-Cee's New & Used Items (3132 Isleville, 454-3838) and Sweetleaf Smoke Shop & Hydroponics (3132, Isleville, 454-6646). Sweetleaf has an impressive selection of growing supplies, for any kind of operation, as well as the requisite bongs, papers, pipes and "smelly proof" plastic bags. A little further up is Willman's Fish & Chips (5644 Kane, 454-0929), open since 1946 and offering Digby clams and scallops and shoodogs (battered hot dogs), along with the fish and the chips. Look for a Willman's chip truck to straddle Argyle this summer. Head west on Kane and you'll find Halifax Seed (5860 Kane, 454-7456), another kind of growing centre, for all your fertilizer, rose and grape-vine needs.

Super Natural Health Products (5575 Young, 454-9999) is nearing the end of renovations. Soon they'll have a deli, with coffee and tea available, upstairs seating and a larger supply of health supplements. "Our aim is to expand our health service to the community," says owner Shahrooz Sobhani. Across the street you'll find The Futon Store & Pineworks (5730 Young, 454-9029), full of furniture and futons. The pine is locally milled, with some coming from Quebec. After 27 years, they know what they're doing. "Students are our main business," says manager Kevin Carter, who sees a spike in interest in both furniture and futons before holidays, "when relatives come to town."

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Granite Brewery Beer Store opens

Summers days are here again, so finish work and go get some suds. Time to buy a growler from the rebooted Halifax beer institution, The Granite Brewery.

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2009 at 3:53 PM

Because summer feels like it's here already this news ought to make you happy: the new Granite Brewery Beer Store is now officially open!

Located at 6054 Stairs Street in the north end (between Kempt and Massachusetts), the new Granite Brewery, is open for business even if it looks, according to manager Joe Keefe, "not quite spic and span and a little bit rough."

The beer store is currently only selling growlers. Keefe says cans will happen later in the year. Right now, they are focusing on getting the brewery set up and servicing their draft customers --- Henry House, Wooden Monkey, Spitfire Arms (Windsor) and the Lion's Head Tavern.

The prices for growlers are as follows:
$9 for Peculiar, Best Bitter, Dry Hop, Keefe's Irish Stout, Ringwood and IPA
$10 for Greene Man Organic Ale
$12 Gin Lane Barley Wine

Plus there's a $9 deposit for a growler. The Granite will not take growlers from other brewing companies because, Keefe says, growlers come pre-filled, using a "counter pressure filled" method that helps it keep longer.

The Granite's beer store hours are currently 9:30am to 6pm. This could change, though. "If people need us to be open Monday at 9pm, we'll do it. We're just playing it by ear now, Keefe says.

Oh, and this Saturday, look out for their table at the Halifax Farmers' Market.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Japanese Food Paradise Opens

The end of Barrington Street is where to go for Pocky

Posted By on Wed, May 20, 2009 at 12:30 PM

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Opened less than a year ago is Japanese Food Paradise (1020 Barrington, 446-8268), a grocery store that carries exclusively Japanese products. Crazy fun snacks include Meiji and Pocky chocolate, Hello Kitty fruit candy, tea cakes and other, less immediately identifiable, but no less tasty, foodstuff.
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Clean Nova Scotia offers litter aid

Provincial environment agency has supplies for enterprising litter warriors

Posted By on Wed, May 20, 2009 at 9:35 AM

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It’s called The Great Nova Scotia Pick Me Up program, made possible through Clean Nova Scotia (clean.ns.ca/pmu). It supplies the public with materials used to pick up litter in public areas. Shoptalk was notified by industrious reader Therese Bombardier, who in early May, with the help of a group of friends, cleaned up a big chunk of Windsor Street. Propeller Brewery supplied the beverages and Video Difference a prize, and in four hours they collected 10 bags of garbage and 2 bags of recyclables. “We noticed that cigarette butts were the most common litter and we picked up over 4000 butts,” Bombardier writes in an email. For more information, or to get involved yourself, call 420-3474 or visit the Clean Nova Scotia offices at 126 Portland Street, Dartmouth.
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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Papa Mario’s Gets Alcohol (Maybe)

Posted By on Tue, May 19, 2009 at 12:29 PM

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Papa Mario’s (1283 Barrington at Morris, 457-7272) is there for all your late night donair/pizza/wrap needs, but look out for the eatery to get a liquor licence this summer and add a patio to its stretch of sidewalk.
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Bubble Tea Shop opens on Inglis Street

Bubble Tea!

Posted By on Tue, May 19, 2009 at 9:32 AM

Bubble Tea Shop (5385 Inglis) has opened. It may be hard to imagine that a tapioca-filled fruit beverage is a tasty refreshment, but trust us, it is. It really, really is.
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Monday, May 18, 2009

Paderno Closes Temporarily

Posted By on Mon, May 18, 2009 at 12:28 PM

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Paderno Factory Store (201 Chain Lake, 450-1885) is closed from now until the second week of June for a renovation and expansion.
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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Wood Chuckers Chuck New Wood

A more eco-friendly wood now available from local wood suppliers

Posted By on Sun, May 17, 2009 at 12:27 PM

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Craig and Dawn Humphreys, owners of Wood Chuckers Limited, have expanded their operations to become retailers for Eastern White Cedar lumber, a non-pressure-treated wood milled in the Maritimes, thus limiting the environmental impact by minimizing transportation distances. Wood Chuckers Limited, located at 961 Lucasville Road in Hammonds Plains, offers a variety of home and property reno supplies. Visit woodchuckerslimited.com for more information.
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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Jeans and Gents Reopens

Windsor Street Apparel Store finds new home on Chebucto

Posted By on Sat, May 16, 2009 at 12:23 PM

In March Shoptalk reported that due to changes going on at the corner of Windsor and Almon, new and mildly vintage clothing retailer Jeans and Gents Clothing Company was having to pack up and find a new location after two decades in business. The good news is that the new location now has its doors open, at 2592 Elm Street, just opposite Fries & Co.. “It's the same time of year I opened up 20 years ago in the old location,” says owner David Kaulback, which gives the whole thing a special tang of synchronicity. “I’m still doing the same thing just in a new location.” The same thing means cool, new and mildly used designer clothes for sale, and a growing binder full of requests for coats, jeans and leather goods, with customers getting a call back from Kaulback when the items come in.
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Friday, May 15, 2009

Farmers’ Market News

The Rug Lady and Smile Tree Halifax rock the market and online

Posted By on Fri, May 15, 2009 at 12:26 PM

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Stephanie Janssen is back at the Halifax Farmers’ Market (1496 Lower Water Street) in the main courtyard beside Walter and Leona Penner from 7am to 1pm on Saturdays. The Rug Lady, as she is known---and was at the market for 12 years but spent three away working with US clients---offers cleaning and restoration to hand hooked rugs, Persian rugs and other textiles. People are welcome to bring their damaged hooked and Persian rugs to the market for evaluation, to visit her online at theruglady.ca or call her at 466-5987.

And Smile Tree Halifax, another former Farmers’ Market regular, has recently launched their online store smiletree.ca. Andrew and Benjamin Roberts and Genna Woolston developed the idea for their business after having lived in Japan, where people carry their own, personal terrycloth towels around for use in public bathrooms and at work---clearly all having read a lot of Douglas Adams. Smile Tree produces these terrycloth towels, hand-made in Halifax of 100 percent locally sourced, recycled materials. They are available on their website and soon will be back at the market.
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Shoptalk Correction

Jay Wells Salon at 1673 Barrington

Posted By on Fri, May 15, 2009 at 10:59 AM

Jay Wells Salon's new location is, in fact, at 1673 Barrington Street, third floor, above The Hub, and not the address that was reported in Thursday's print edition of Shoptalk. The phone number is 422-3532 and the salon's website is jaywellssalon.com, where you can find more information about their services. The Coast regrets the error and any consternation it may have caused.
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