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Thursday, May 4, 2006

Canadian pie

Megan Wennberg browses for business news.

Posted By on Thu, May 4, 2006 at 11:43 AM

Rob Shedden has a new business selling organic vegan pies at the Farmers’ Market. Operating under the name of Waudie’s, Shedden shares space with Selwood Green Organics in the Market courtyard. Shedden’s pies are all made using his grandmother’s pastry recipe, but he substitutes palm oil for butter to make them vegan. Shedden plans to bake berry and other pies as the season progresses, but the pies are all apple at present, made with organic, locally grown apples from the Farmers’ Market. “I have this old baby stroller that I take the pies to the market with and then on the way home I fill it with apples,” he says. “Last week I brought home 80 pounds of apples in it. It’s ideal for what I’m doing— it’s got suspension so I can go up and down curbs and not worry about damaging my crusts.”

Nerds across America

Saturday May 6 marks the fifth annual Free Comic Books Day, celebrated by comic book lovers across the continent. Strange Adventures at 5262 Sackville will be taking part in the festivities throughout the day, giving away thousands of comics (customers can take up to 10 different titles) and they’re hosting an artist signing by Bryan Lee O’Malley, author of the graphic series Scott Pilgrim for Oni Press. Free Comic Book Day was founded by Joe Field, owner of Flying Colors Comics & Other Cool Stuff in Concord, California, after he was inspired by Baskin Robbins’ promotional “free scoop night” down the street from his store. “It’s been a success and people participate all over North America,” says Strange Adventures manager Dave Howlett. “The idea is that people will bring their friends who aren’t into comics and get them to just grab a bunch of stuff and see what grabs them. And people who are already customers, it might get them to try some stuff that they’ve never looked at, especially from the smaller independent publishers.”

New name, more pillows

The Casino Nova Scotia Hotel officially changed hands and became the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel on March 13. The hotel was purchased by Marriott in November. “We saw it as a fantastic location, just a total ‘A’ property,” says general manager Jeff Ranson. “We moved very quickly once we saw there was opportunity. It’s our 50th hotel in Canada, so it’s a landmark property. It signifies for Marriott the now coast-to-coast coverage. We did not have a full service hotel anywhere on the East Coast. That’s been very important to us as an organization in Canada.” Since the take-over, the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront has undergone a number of changes, including a renovated lobby and entrances as well as new furnishings throughout. Guest rooms feature Marriott’s “revived bedding program,”-—which comprises a four-inch mattress topper, white-sheeted duvet and piles of pillows—and are consistent with rooms at any of the chain’s 2,700 hotels worldwide.

Open doors on Almon

Metro Windows & Doors opened Monday at 6040 Almon, in the front section of the former SMT Bus Terminal, around the corner from Renovators Resource. The store also has a location at 90 Raddall in Dartmouth, but owner Percy Gouchie is particularly excited about the showroom possibilities afforded by the floor to ceiling windows in his new space. Metro Windows & Doors sells a wide variety of—you guessed it—windows and doors, including both vinyl and wood-vinyl combination windows and skylights. “There’s absolutely no question, none—and any architect will tell you this—that windows and doors can make or break the house, period,” says Gouchie. “Not just in their performance aspects, but their aesthetic appeal. Having the right style and design of windows and doors is critical to having a really nice end product.”

Now, more food

The Atlantic Superstore at 6139 Quinpool is being renovated to make room for more food. “Basically what we’re doing is concentrating more on food, and widening out that offer,” says Dirk Romayn, VP of Marketing for Atlantic Superstore. Changes will include an expanded produce section, more take-out options, additional frozen food doors, Perks Coffee with be replaced with a President’s Choice coffee bar, the “deal zone” centre aisle of general merchandise will be replaced with a grocery aisle, and the entire property will be surrounded by underground electronic cart-retention wire. “We get a lot of complaints about carts found all over the place,” says Romayn. “I’m sure there’ll be some customers not too happy because they can’t take the cart, but others will be very happy because they don’t have it in their back yard.” Renovations are estimated to finish in early fall.

Renovators Anonymous

Neighbourhood sources inform Shop Talk that a new sign for The Pyramid Cafe has gone up in the space formerly occupied by Cafe Vienna on Windsor, and “frenzied work was going on inside late on Sunday evening...”

Renovations are taking place in the former home of the Addis Ababa Ethiopian Restaurant at 6184 Quinpool.

The far end of Scotia Square Mall near the liquor store and Sushi You and Me is also blocked off for renovations, but mall staff could not be reached for comment.

Renovation revelations? shoptalk@thecoast.ca

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