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Jessica Best 

A left hand and “work wife” to Renée Lavallée, this Newfoundland baker left the rock and found The Canteen.

click to enlarge MEGHAN TANSEY WHITTON
  • Meghan Tansey Whitton

Baker The Canteen, 66 Octherloney Street

"It's meditative. I think it's one of the most refined things you can do," Jessica Best says about baking. "I feel like the measure of a really good baker is consistency in everything you take out of the oven."

Best's crusty sourdough is, in a lot of ways, a part of the foundation The Canteen is built on. The bread is consistently delicious, so Best is certainly measuring up.

Her first baking job was at Auntie Crae's, a popular shop in St. John's. After bouncing between baking and cooking and selling bagels at the farmers' market, Best found herself at Raymonds Restaurant, working alongside Jeremy Charles for a year.

Then she picked up and moved to Halifax. She met Renée Lavallée, helped open The Canteen, and "the rest is history," she says. "I had no game plan in coming to Halifax, just sort of crossed my fingers and came. It's been really amazing."


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