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Thursday, August 3, 2006

North market action

Megan Wennberg browses for business news.

Posted By on Thu, Aug 3, 2006 at 8:01 AM

The north end will soon have its own version of the Farmers’ Market, when the Agricola Whole Food Market opens later this month in the lot formerly occupied by Factory 21 Used Cars, at the corner of Agricola and McCully. “On the peninsula we only have access to locally grown whole foods one day a week at the Farmers’ Market, and there’s obviously a much greater need for that,” says Fred Connors, chair of the Commons North Business and Cultural Association. “We’re hoping to be able to respond to that need by starting the Market just on Sundays, and from there expanding it to a seven-day-a-week operation.” Vending spaces will be available for local growers, producers, and craftspeople. Connors says the Market has already received a “huge amount” of interest from vendors, and hopes to open as soon as some remaining details are finalized. One such detail is hiring a permanent manager for the Market, who will also be in charge of running Active Underground, a new active wear and shoe store that is set to open in the same location later this month. For more information, or to book a vendor spot at the market, contact agricolawholefoodmarket@hotmail.com

Yuk it up

Yuk Yuk’s comedy club is opening a Halifax location at the Westin Nova Scotian Hotel in early October. The world-renowned comedy franchise currently has 13 locations across Canada; the new Halifax and Moncton locations (Yuk Yuk’s Moncton is scheduled to open at the same time) will up the count to 15. Both clubs will be owned by Marc Sauve, who will also manage the Moncton location, while Halifax Yuk Yuk’s will be managed by Comedy Dawgs founder Paul Ash. “There’s no comedy franchise or system of clubs in the world that’s as successful,” says Ash of his new employer. “It’s going to be grade-A headliner after grade-A headliner. Some you may have heard of, some may not have. The stand-up world is it’s own little world at times.” Ash first joined this world nine years ago, and is excited for the opportunities a Yuk Yuk’s will provide local comics.“Yuk Yuk’s is renowned for discovering talent. It gives them an ‘in’ onto the national stage.”

Peek-a-boo

UC Baby is set to open August 23 in the Halifax Professional Centre at the corner of Spring Garden and Robie. UC Baby will provide prenatal ultrasound services, similar to those found in a hospital, but with more advanced technology to provide better quality fetal photos. “Instead of giving a fuzzy black and white picture we give you a very crisp, clean, three-dimensional picture that can show off the features of the baby—mouth, nose, fingers, everything in very good detail,” says Halifax majority share holder Jim Bethune (UC Baby is licensed by Ureten Consulting and has offices across the country). UC Baby can also tell expecting parents their baby’s gender. “Ask any pregnant mother,” says Bethune, “most of them want to know the gender of the baby so they can prepare by painting the room or buying clothes , and a lot of them just want to feel closer to the baby, it’s a good bonding experience for both the mother and father and other family members.”

Discovery–airport

The National Geographic Store at the Halifax airport is now a Discovery Channel Store, thanks to a new agreement Discovery formed with the Hudson Group. In accordance with the new agreement, Hudson Group will be “re-organizing and refurbishing those old National Geographic stores into Discovery Channel airport stores,” says Laura Samuels, Hudson Group’s director of corporate communications. “Discovery Channel had lots of success with their stores in malls, but not lots of success with their stores in airports, and we’re airport specialists so we came to an agreement that we’d run their stores in airports.” Hudson Group is based out of East Rutherford, New Jersey, and operates 500 airport stores across North America, including Hudson News, Roots and Crabtree & Evelyn. Hudson Group specializes in catering to airport shoppers, and distinguishes between the needs of a casual mall shopper and a traveller intent on catching a plane. “They’re mostly looking for convenience items,” says Samuels. And for those looking for gifts, the Discovery Channel airport store carries items associated with all of Discovery’s different channels, like travel, health, kids and animal planet, and items for sale include CDs, DVDs, and “little things that tuck very easily into a bag.”

Open Concept

Concepts School of Cosmetology re-opened this summer after moving from 2441 Agricola to 3660 Commission at the corner of Lady Hammond. Concepts student advisor Cheri Butler says the main reason for the move was leasing: when their lease on Agricola came up, they had to find a new place. “The facility we have right now is brand new, so that was a bonus,” says Butler, “and it’s a space that works better for us because it’s so open, and a lot of natural light so we’re so lucky.” Concepts offers two 11-month programs for students in hairstyling and esthetics, and students provide all spa and hairstyling services to clients at reduced rates. For more information visit www.concepts.ns.ca

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