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Got wood?

T.C. Demaresq browses for business news.


One Stop Wood Shop opened last Saturday at the corner of Elm and Chebucto. The store will specialize in furniture made by owner and carpenter Jason Cullen. Cullen creates custom-made pieces, and also has a number of pieces on display that are available for purchase. He specializes in a wide range of furniture, from funky torch display lights, to classic country hall benches and traditional coffee tables. Cullen worked for other furniture companies for years before deciding to open his own business. “Why work for someone else?” says Cullen, whose house is furnished by his own two hands. “I just enjoy creating new stuff. I never buy anything else made of wood. Everything I have here I basically built. It keeps me out of trouble.”

Big Pete

On October 24, Pete’s Frootique owner Pete Luckett and Bedford location manager Eileen Annand accepted the top award for Specialty Category presented by The Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers. It’s the third time in seven years Pete’s in Bedford has won the gold in this category. “Pete Luckett is a one-of- a-kind individual with a one-of-a-kind store,” says John FT Scott, president of CFIG. “We would all be very fortunate if we could have a Pete’s Frootique in every neighbourhood in Canada.” Judges from CFIG scour the country every spring, evaluating independent grocery stores on everything from what they carry and how fresh it is, to overall cleanliness and customer care. “You can learn a lot from entering the competition because judges give you feedback on what customers say and they can bring you ideas from stores they’ve seen across the country,” says Annand. “I love to bring the award back to the staff. It means a lot to them, they work so hard for it each year.”

Luck of the Romans

Business partners Ian Campbell and chef Glauco Giovannetti are opening a new Italian restaurant at 5688 Spring Garden, the former home of Sahara and, most recently, La Cave. The restaurant will be called Casa Roma Ristaurante, and Cambell and Giovannetti are hoping to avoid the former tenants’ fate. “They had some problems there with different restaurants and I tried to size up what was causing the problems,” says Campbell, who adds the problems may have been caused by having the wrong type of liquor licence. Casa Roma is applying for both a dining room and lounge licence, meaning customers who want to stop in for a drink won’t have to order food. But for those who are hungry, Casa Roma will feature a unique variety of Italian specialties prepared by Giovannetti, former head chef at Piccollo Mondo. Campbell says menu items will be “middle market,” that is, not high-end gourmet, but still excellent quality food. As to ensuring the success of his Roman House, Campbell says “Hopefully the combination of reasonable location, good food and marketing will help.”

Home sweet home, the online marketplace that launched August 10, is “designed to promote the economic advancement of suppliers, providing quality goods and services made in Atlantic Canada.” Products and services available include books from Nimbus Publishing, Acadia Maple products, restaurant gift certificates, carpenter mitts, folk art, music and hand-painted glass. “This part of the world is cherished in many respects for different travellers,” says owner Jeff Morris, “and they want to take back something from here.” He imposes tight restrictions on suppliers to ensure all products are manufactured in Atlantic Canada. “It has to be put together in this location ,” he says, “and there’s a certain value for people that are seeking to stay close to this region.”

Barn sale is a new classifieds-type website where clients can post advertisements outlining what they want to buy or sell in a range of categories, from antiques and electronics to jewellery and sports gear. “I started this website because I wanted to sell some stuff and I just didn’t feel like calling or mailing the Bargain Hunter,” says owner Amy Scott. “My website is free, easy to use, your item is posted right away and you can modify what you wrote 24/7.”

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