Storefront

By Sydney Blackmore

NEW MANAGEMENT
New ownership for Asian Variety
After 17 years, the Chiu family of Asian Variety Store at 159 Water Street have retired.

The specialty grocery store, which was voted Best International Food Shop in 2008 by Scope readers, was handed over to loyal shop-goer Gaylynne Lambert in September. Says Gaylynne, “A couple of years ago I changed my diet to encompass a lot of gluten free products, so I started coming down here just about every day.” Gaylynne became acquainted with Simon Chiu and his wife Irene over the years and when she learned there was an opportunity to take over the shop, Gaylynne jumped at it. “It fits well with my lifestyle,” she says.

Asian Variety was one of the first storefronts in the city to offer international goods and remains the only convenience store to service Water Street east. Good news: Gaylynne intends to change little. “It’ll still be Asian Variety with the same great groceries that everybody has come to want and expect. But we’ll expand the Asian groceries and have more convenience and lunch items.” Gaylynne also hopes to hold seminars on Chinese remedies and a ‘recipe of the week’ feature that’ll teach customers how to prepare meals using store ingredients.

As for the Chius, hopefully they’re enjoying a much-earned rest. “Simon will be here from time to time,” reports Gaylynne. “He’s going to consult with us on a few things, so you still may see him around the store.”

Enjoy the retirement Mr. and Mrs. Chiu!

LOCAL PRODUCTS
Pure Indigène-uity

Edible partridgeberry crystals are a ‘beauty food’ produced by Indigène. The NL all-natural beauty company makes use of indigenous ingredients like bakeapples, seaweed and iceberg water in its products.

Creator Lisa Walsh explains why these crystals are ‘berry’ good for you. “Partridgeberry gives you an antioxidant boost, it’s antibacterial and has lots of flavonoids and some fibre in it.” The berry is also said to have naturopathic properties for women, a discovery first made by Native Americans who would use partridgeberries to relieve cramps, regulate menstruation, induce childbirth, and ease delivery.

The crystals are produced at Rodrigues Winery in Whitbourne, where partridgeberry mulch is crystallized on dryer. The crimson crystals are packaged in 200 gram travel-ready bags that can be mixed with water, smoothies, cereals or whatever you like to compensate for your daily fruit intake, says Lisa. “One gram of product is equal to 15 grams of fresh berry. With one heaping teaspoon a day, you get your percentage of fruit.”

The crystals are sold at www.indigena.us and at the St. John’s Farmer’s Market.

HOME DECOR
Downtown goes country

Home decor store Country Dreams from the Village Mall has opened a second location at the old Extreme Pita address, 200 Water Street. “We’re testing new waters,” says co-owner Dianne Bishop.

Diane created her home decor business alongside fiancé Andrew Tilley, starting out as a mall kiosk called Trinkets and Treasures. Over the years, the pair moved into a Village storefront with a new name, Country Dreams. “We have been a home decor business for 12 years, so we’re not new to what we’re doing.”

With stores like Home on Water, The Weavery and Living Rooms already offering home decor downtown what makes Country Dreams special? “I try to stay away from what everybody else is doing. I look for different things. I think we’re all going to compliment each other,” says Diane.

Country Dreams on Water will operate seven days a week until the end of the Christmas season, when it will switch to more regular business hours. [Addended Oct 9]

COSTUMES
If you’re going to San Francisco
Wondering where the heck the Avalon Mall’s San Francisco escaped to, just weeks before Halloween? It’s moved across the street to the old Emerald Palace restaurant at 56 Kenmount Road, as Halloween Distributors. The costume superstore is open seven days a week at until Oct 31st.

CORRECTION
Karma number

The last issue of Storefront (Sept 24-Oct 8) listed an incorrect telephone number for Karma Hair Salon at 132 Water Street. The new salon’s correct phone contact is 722-5127. The Scope regrets the error.

One comment

Unbelievab’oil

Unbelievab’oil

“I find it AMAZINGLY STRANGE that St.John’s is booming form all this oil money, yet nothing is being done to make downtown more liveable!”

12 June 2011

  1. Sydney B · June 12, 2011

    Clarification: Country Dreams at 200 Water Street is a permanent, year-round venue.The home décor store will be operating beyond the 2010 Christmas season. Apologies to owners Dianne and Andrew for this err.
    – Sydney

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