Emilie Bourque browses for local business news.
Making the Jump
Jumping Bean is making the big leap to opening a cafe in St. John’s. Located at 47 Harvey Road, no less—right across the street from a busy Tim Horton’s.
Jumping Bean is known locally as a fair trade coffee roaster, but owner Jeff LeDrew says as well as serving up coffee and lunches at the café, they’ll have specialty foods like high-end Italian olive oil, balsamic vinegar, pasta, truffle oil, and truffles available for sale at the location. Yum!
LeDrew started roasting coffee as a hobby and charitable fundraiser, and he says it has grown into a successful business. He operated a café on St. Thomas Line in Paradise until August of this year, and has two kiosks in Mile One Centre, which opened at the beginning of this year’s Fog Devils’ season.
After passing a few roadblocks with zoning, LeDrew says the new spot should be ready to roll at the Harvey Road location in mid-November.
To be Frank
The Franklin Hotel, 193 Water St., is hoping to officially open on November 15th. As something that’s been part of the plan all along for The-Last-Drop-and-The-Gypsy-Tea-Room conglomerate, The Franklin will be a boutique hotel with ten rooms, targeted toward business clients.
“We’re as high a quality hotel as you can find anywhere in St. John’s,” says owner John Franklin.
In addition, they have substantial conference facilities. The 800-square-foot downstairs room is geared up with projectors and communications, and Music City is coming to put in stage, lighting, and a sound system.
And although they’re a boutique hotel they’ve still got plenty of room.
Honey, they’re serving our wine
Finally, the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation has closed its Elizabeth Avenue store and moved to a new spot attached to Sobeys up the road.
Yes, it’s brighter, yes, the aisles are bigger, but there’s something inside the new location we’re calling the “Wine Jukebox”. It’s a wine tasting machine that dispenses samples of wine. Buy a card at the till, grab a glass, and drink up.
The move seemed a little weird to me, since the Elizabeth Avenue location was NLC’s most profitable location in the province—in 2006 it turned a profit of $11 million.
But who cares about money now that we have a Wine Jukebox in town??
When I recently attended the International Food and Craft Fair here in SinJawn’s, I was thinking about how, for a fairly small city on a relatively isolated island, we’ve got a respectable amount of international products available to us. I wanted to share two sources of these with you.
First off, Oriental Snow Mini Mart, a new source for East Asian groceries and other products, opened on October 9th on the third floor of Memorial’s University Centre. Owners Snow and Kelvin, a couple from mainland China, also own and operate Treats in the food court. With an increasing number of international students enrolling over the past few years, their goal was to make Asian students feel more at home.
A former instructor in China and current part-time student at MUN, Snow says she is fond of campus environments, and liked the idea of making MUN’s campus more internationally diverse.
Additionally, Snow says she thinks it will be a great way to introduce Asian products to the rest of the student body, to give them an opportunity to try something new.
Maybe not new-new, but definitely new to me: if you’re ever on the hunt for African products, there is an African market tucked into the Torbay Road Mall. Owner of African Market Square Inc., Zainab Jerrett, was born in Northern Nigeria, and has been selling African products online for years, but opened a tiny shop in May of last year.
Lining the walls are colourful leather purses, jewellry, traditional carvings, fabrics, skin care and hair care products, and wigs—among other things. All products are from Africa, and they deal directly with the women and men who make the products, Jerrett says.
Jerrett also offers hair-braiding services, which she told me can get quite busy, especially leading up to the holidays.
Misc. openings, closings and moves
Just when you thought there were enough Tim Horton’s in town, another one has sprouted up in a building next to the Torbay Road Mall. A sign was raised a few weeks ago, and they are on the lookout for employees.
Pasta Plus has moved from its familiar Duckworth St. location to Water St. It’s now in the old spot where Tuscan Door used to be, across from the ScotiaBank building.
“We didn’t like Duckworth Street,” says part-owner Christine Whitten. “We wanted to move down here.”
Whitten, who part-owns the Terrace on the Square location, says it has “the same menu, and the same cozy atmosphere as Churchill Square.”
Since we’re on the topic of restaurants, I should let you know an old faithful has closed. Ponderosa, after close to 28 years on Topsail Road, is no more. They attributed their lack of business in recent years to the area not being as busy as it used to be, with the big box stores creating new shopping hubs away from malls, in addition to many new restaurants competing for our hungry bellies.
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