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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Chew on this

Guy Quenneville browses for business news.

Posted By on Thu, Mar 22, 2007 at 1:45 PM

Trident Booksellers and Cafe, located at 1256 Hollis, is celebrating 15 years of service this week. The husband-and-wife team who operate the cafe, Hudson and Janet Shotwell, are staying true to their mission to remain as ecologically-friendly as possible by donating 10 percent of the sales of their books to the Ecology Action Centre, whose main projects include recycling, composting and energy conservation. The Shotwells themselves are currently mulling over several options to make Trident ecologically-friendly as well. "We realize we can't very well change our customers' lifestyles, but we can do our part," says Hudson. They are trying to institute some policies that will go a small way towards helping the problem. "We talked and we decided that, starting Earth Day , we're not going to stamp our freebie coffees for anybody that takes away something in a to-go cup. So, in a way, it's like not rewarding them for taking that stuff and just throwing it into the landfill." He continues: "But anybody who brings their own cup or gets something in-house will get a stamp toward a free coffee. That's our compromise solution." Mr. Shotwell realizes such a move might be unpopular with some customers. But, he says, something needs to be done to reduce waste. "If all 50 coffee shops in Halifax started reducing the amount of to-go cups, then you'd have a real movement going on," he says. Anyone with ideas can contact the Shotwells at 423-7100.

Home trails

Gerry MacPherson has been giving tours of Nova Scotia for the past 17 years. In his eyes, it's the best job in the world. "I often find myself seeing things for the first time again, through the eyes of the people on the tour," he says. "We get a lot of Americans and Europeans, many of whom believe, before they get here, that Canada is a barren, cold, under-populated land. But when they get here, they're very surprised. And can't believe how friendly people are." That said, tourism can be a repetitive business, but MacPherson has recently come up with a novel idea to shake things up. He's beginning Rhapsody Tours, which will fulfill all the requirements of an East Coast tour with one huge, added bonus: local musicans—from Mary Jane Lamond to Lennie Gallant, from Wendy MacIsaac to the Sons of Maxwell—will accompany the tour group for a day, giving an exclusive tour of the area where they were born and grew up. The seven-to-eight-day tours begin in Halifax with a meet-and-greet with the artist, and then continue to those parts of Atlantic Canada that are most important to the artist, with the artist joining the tour group on the bus, singing songs and sharing stories about their life. "At the end of that day, the artists will put on a special evening performance for the group," says MacPherson. "This will give members of an artists' fan base a great opportunity to learn about the artist, but at the same time, it will give everyday people a great look at our culture." Other artists scheduled to take part in tours include JP Cormier, John Gracie and Ron Hynes. There are more artists to come, says MacPherson, although at this time he's not saying who. MacPherson says most of the tours will take place at the beginning of fall—"my favourite time of year," he says—though some will take place in July as well. Those interested in taking part can call MacPherson at 422-5532, or visit rhapsodytours.com, fully operational as of next week.

Trouble sleeping?

Some of you walking down might have noticed the big sign affixed to the side of the Bank of Montreal building at 5880 Spring Garden advertising the opening of The Snore Shop. The Snore Shop is part of a line of clinics that treat people suffering from sleep apnea—a condition whereby the patient has trouble breathing properly while sleeping. This is the Snore Shop's second location, its first being located at 63 Tacoma Drive in Dartmouth. The clinic welcomes walk-in patients and can be reached at 435-0298.

Flight control

Atlantic Canadians looking to fly to Northern Ireland and France from the Halifax International Airport now have more flying options thanks to Zoom Airlines. Beginning in June and ending in October of this year, Zoom will operate two new weekly routes: Halifax-Belfast and Halifax-Paris. The cost of the each one-way trip is $199.

Give me an H&M

The Wikipedia page for H&M Clothing claims that an H&M store will open in Halifax sometime in 2007. Toronto H&M advertising exec Marilyn Robinson could not confirm whether or not the news was true, saying "We currently have no plans to open up a location in Halifax. It might be something we have planned for the future, but not right now."

Store closings

After just over a year, British-themed pub and restaurant The Nail and Kneecap at 6194 Quinpool has closed its doors "indefinitely," according to the sign in the restaurant window. Owners of the N&K could not be reached for comment...Meanwhile, downtown, Pineau's Cafe at 5190 Blowers Street, has also served its last meal. Stay tuned for more info.

Closing a door, or opening a window? Email: shoptalk@thecoast.ca

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