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, March 28, 2014

Double Barrel's need jerky reaction

Local beef jerky, made with love

Posted By on Fri, Mar 28, 2014 at 11:55 AM


Clint Fletcher has had a jerky fascination since he was a kid and the salty snack was a rare treat. “I guess I kind of became obsessed with it,” says the man behind Double Barrel Jerky, a home-run Halifax business.

“It’s very fun and compelling to continue on making it.” With a background in banking and sales, his jerky obsession and the perfect gift from his wife—a dehydrator—Fletcher started making batches of jerky for his co-workers, but Double Barrel has grown into an addictive side project. He makes a batch of local beef jerky a week (with 10 flavours from Maple Cayenne to Spicy Southwest Chipotle to Sriracha), five kale chip flavours (like Chili Lime and Piri Piri) and can do custom flavours, too.

Right now, Double Barrel lives online, taking its weekly orders from Facebook but the longterm plan is to hook-up with local retailers to bring sweet, sweet dry meat closer to you.

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Bigger Better Than Her Boutique

More space for more style at this trendy downtown boutique

Posted By on Thu, Mar 27, 2014 at 4:44 PM

Just over a year after opening her wilderness-inspired clothing and accessories shop Better Than Her Boutique (5640 Spring Garden Road), Courtney Jones is excited to be expanding.

Jones says she realized she’d outgrown her cozy space in Spring Garden Place Mall last year and lucky for her, the space next door opened up allowing for more room to breathe. More space means more stock and storage as well as a second changing room and an office. “I’ve always said I wanted to carry petite and plus sizes, but my space was limited,” says Jones. “I’m really happy to be able to carry all sizes, not just small, medium, large.”

April’s renos will bring a bright and modern bigger Better Than Her, that'll still stay true to its outdoorsy feel. Jones says she should be able to stay open for most of the work and hopes to launch her online store with the new storefront. Keep tabs on the shop's progress via Facebook and Twitter.

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Drifter Goods' leather bomb

Pretty, practical, local handmade things

Posted By on Thu, Mar 27, 2014 at 2:43 PM


Your hard earned cash should be treated with respect—that stuff doesn’t grow on trees, you know. Drifter Goods, a locally-made line of leather goods, is all about handling important things with care, making coin pouches, card holders, passport holders, coffee sleeves by hand, from very beautiful leather.

Josiah Stevens is the guy behind the handy work, the one stitching and trimming and stamping these beauties, and he’s been working in leather for about a year. Take a load off your pockets and keep your change with this Coin Pouch Cardholder (pictured, $50), you can find it and other Drifter creations online, at Kept (127 Portland Street) or Saint Lou’s Gentlemen’s Barbershop (1869 Upper Water Street).

Now, if only this photo was scratch-and-sniff.

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Friday, March 21, 2014

All-Ways awesome

All-Ways-Us eco-friendly soaps is opening a shop in Burnside

Posted By on Fri, Mar 21, 2014 at 11:18 AM


All-Ways Us is a pretty great business. Not only does it make a line of soaps, bath bombs, body wash and candles using all-natural, environmentally friendly, local ingredients, it’s a social enterprise, too.

Operating under YACRO (Yarmouth Association for Community Residential Options, a non-profit that helps support children and adults with disabilities) All-Ways Us’ aim is to provide great employment, with competitive wages, for people of all abilities. The squeaky-clean company will open its very own shop in Burnside, where some of the production takes place, this May.

Until the space is ready, you can still stop by 1 Gloster Court (an address shared with YACRO) Monday through Friday, 8:30am-4pm, to shop from a small display, which includes this collaborative project with Garrison Brewing Co.. These suds-scented, non-drinkable bars (in Cherry Stout, Spruce and Lavender and Cinnamon and Clove) of beer soap are just $5.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Susie's Shortbreads' new digs

So long Dresden Row, hello Purdy's Landing

Posted By on Wed, Mar 19, 2014 at 11:05 PM

One of each, please
  • One of each, please

Susie’s Shortbreads (1589 Dresden Row) has been providing Haligonians with sweet relief for nearly a decade, doling out artfully created treats on downtown for six of those years.

With a milestone on the horizon, and a lease expiry this summer, owner TJ Peach took a closer look at the shop’s business model and in realizing the impact of Susie’s corporate clients made the choice to close Dresden Row and set up shop at Purdy’s Landing (1949 Upper Water Street) next to Ko Doraku. “It's very bittersweet, there’s a lot of emotional attachment to Dresden,” she says. “There are of course the people we’ve gotten to know over the years, even our landlord and his family.”

In renovation mode now, Peach says Susie’s at Purdy’s will open in early June, bringing with it breakfast and lunch offerings alongside the usual cookies, cupcakes and milkshakes. The new 400 square feet, satellite-style space will be much smaller than the downtown location, meaning most of the production will come out of the Bayers Lake Susies (the roomy 218 Chain Lake Drive).“We really thrive in a trade show type environment,” she says. “So a busy office building should be perfect.”

For you downtown devotees, the Dresden location doesn’t have an official closing date yet, but the lease expires in July.

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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Rudi's Authentic Hot Sauce is fired up

Family-made, handcrafted sauces are our product of the week

Posted By on Thu, Mar 6, 2014 at 10:49 AM


The need for heat runs in Rudi Brooks’ family. An admitted addict to spicy foods learned to keep his fridge stocked with hot sauces from his father, Gregthe peppermasterBrooks, a chef and hot sauce aficionado in his own right. The pair teamed up to create their own line of homemade sauces, using unique peppers to create Rudi’s Authentic Hot Sauce in three flavours Sweet Cherry Bomb, Thai Bird Tang and the pictured—and spiciest—Goat Pepper Fire.

With the mission to “let the peppers shine” the Brooks’ sauces will light a fire under your meal, and couldn’t we all use a little warmth right about now? Get your firey fix at Pete’s (1595 Bedford Highway), jane’s next door (2053 Gottingen Street), The Designer Craft Shop (1061 Marginal Road) or online.

Keep those watering eyes peeled for more places to get sauced in the future, follow Rudi's latest here.

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Abode moves to Doyle Street

New and new-to-you mid-century modern furniture and accessories

Posted By on Wed, Mar 5, 2014 at 3:09 PM

Hi, can I get this chair with a side of Don Draper?
  • Hi, can I get this chair with a side of Don Draper?

Daun Windover works hard to bring you the throwback beauties that deck out her furniture boutique Abode, travelling to auctions across the continent collecting Mad Men-esque mid-century modern gems. The shop, which had been living non-permanently at 1664 Granville Street (the Roy Building) since this fall, has packed up and re-opened at 5431 Doyle Street (the former Bark & Fitz) yesterday, bringing with it new (like the Canadian-made furniture line Statum and Dansk Kobenstyle enamel ware) and pre-loved items (vintage textiles, lighting, glassware, chrome tables, teak furniture) as well as ’50s and ’60s inspired art.

“I think because I grew up with it, the style has always stayed with me,” says Windover, who’s NSCAD alum. “I’ve always had it in my house and loved sitting in it, looking at it and using it. It’s definitely maintained it’s integrity as a style.” She’s just returned home from a Danish auction, which means lots of sleek new-to-Abode pieces; the shop’s open Tuesday through Friday, noon until 6pm and Saturdays 11am to 5pm.

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

South Park YMCA set to close in May

The new YMCA Centre for Community will open in 2017

Posted By on Tue, Mar 4, 2014 at 1:01 PM

The proposed new Y
  • The proposed new Y

We all knew this was coming, but for some reason it still feels shocking—the South Park facility of the YMCA will be closing its doors permanently as of May 30.

The aging 1564 South Park Street has been home to the Y for 60 years, growing an engaged community of regulars (disclosure, myself included) along the way. While this closure isn't a new development— it's the beginning of the new YMCA Centre of Community which will be built at the corner of Sackville and South Park, the current home of CBC—it will leave a three-year-gap for Halifax YMCA members, with the new facility slated to open in 2017. The YMCA's childcare centre will continue to run though, moving its homebase to the Saint Thomas Aquinas Church Community Building (6350 Cornwall Street, on the corner of Oxford Street).

Today's post from the YMCA's president and CEO Bette Watson-Borg reads:

The YMCA continues to work through negotiations with a selected development partner that will allow us to build a new 70,000-square-foot YMCA Centre of Community on the corner of South Park and Sackville Streets. In spite of the time these negotiations are taking, we remain extremely encouraged with the progress to date and the commitment of the various parties involved. As soon as information is available regarding the successful development partner, we will make a public announcement.

As we move forward with plans to build a new YMCA Centre of Community, the South Park YMCA facility will close on May 30, 2014. Based on the state of the aging infrastructure of this facility, it can no longer serve the interests and needs of the community. It is extremely important to us to provide our employees, members, volunteers and child care families with as much notice as possible so they can make future plans and we can provide support to them through this transition.

Here's a handy link that addresses member questions and concerns.

CLICK HERE for our expanded feature on the YMCA's closing.

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Monday, March 3, 2014

The empire strikes deck

ProSkates unveils Star Wars skateboards.

Posted By on Mon, Mar 3, 2014 at 2:11 PM

click image Star Wars characters including Princess Leia and Han Solo on skateboard for sale at Pro Skateboards.
  • The Star Wars gang's all here, at Pro Skates.

After months of being sworn to secrecy, today the crew at Pro Skateboards got to reveal the limited-edition line of Star Wars-themed decks by legendary skateboard maker Santa Cruz. This made for a bit of an unwrap party at the Quinpool Street store, as stock that's been sequestered in the back room until the official release date was finally allowed onto the shelves.

Loads of characters from the Star Wars universe are featured—there are storm trooper longboards, Boba Fett and Yoda set-ups complete with matching wheels, Han Solo and Princess Leia decks—with no sign of Bizarro universe denizens like Jar Jar Binks and General Grievous. In other words, they are awesome.

click image Darth Vader's face made out of wood inlay on the bottom of a skateboard.
  • The Darth Vader inlay board, in its plastic-wrapped, foam-lined display box.
The jewel of the collection is the all-wood Darth Vader inlay deck, where Vader's face is made completely out of maple, elm and walnut burl veneers, rather than being painted on the finished deck.

Santa Cruz says: "These incredibly unique decks are laser serial numbered with matching numbered Certificates of Authenticity and encased in its own custom foil printed and embossed, foam lined display box."

In other words, Darth Skater isn't going to actually ride one of these around. But for the serious fan of both Star Wars and skateboarding, definitely an object of desire. Pro Skates' one inlay deck is priced at $536, with lower price tags on the rest of the line.

The Santa Cruz promo video, complete with trip to Lucasfilm and cameo from the man in black.

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