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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Darting ahead

Guy Quenneville browses for business news.

Posted By on Thu, Mar 29, 2007 at 12:46 PM

Linda Goyetche has been dreaming of running her own cafe for her entire life. Now, with the help of her sister, Marina, she'll finally get the chance when Solara Cafe opens at 73 Tacoma Drive in Dartmouth. The sisters say they finally decided to go ahead with the venture during a drive back from Toronto and add that their cafe will bring some originality to the area. "The place will have a Mediterranean flair," says Linda. "What we want to do is provide a healthy alternative in the area, which is particularly dominated by everyday, take-out fast food. So we want to offer a little bit of help there and because there's really not much selection in Dartmouth as far as catering goes. We hope to start catering in September once the store is well off the ground." Since this is her first store, Linda is taking things slowly. "We'll basically be starting with soups, sandwiches, salads, panini sandwiches and one daily special." The sisters' family comes from Italy and preparing food and entertaining a lot of guests is something that comes naturally to both of them. "We were basically brought up with wooden spoons in our hands," says Linda. "My father was born in Italy and my mother just has a natural ability to cook, and we have always been having parties for hundreds of people at our home. We have always had that type of culture, so my real focus is on strong customer service—service with a smile. I don't see that a lot when I'm out and it's so important." For more information about the cafe, which is scheduled to open in early May and will also offer take-out, contact Linda at solara@eastlink.ca

Moving on up

Antique shop Bellissimo Antiques is moving to 2743 Agricola after two-and-a-half years in Market Street. Bellissimo specializes in furniture and lighting handpicked from European markets. Owner Karyn McCombe says she wanted to move the store to take advantage of Agricola, which she says is "an up-and-coming area for antiques. It's much more of a design district. This move will also allow us to feature a lot of new inventory like soft furnishings, carpets, leather sofas and new lighting. We're focusing on being a decorative-finds store. We don't just want to be an antique store, so it will be a mixture of new and old." McCombe is also using the move as an opportunity to bring in pieces that will give customers more choice and that can be custom-ordered. The new store will also feature a sit-down coffee area (bring your own brew) creating a more informal space where customers can sit and browse through catalogues—a first for Bellissimo. McCombe says the new store will be fully operational by the middle of April. "We're just waiting to have the full inventory in," she says. "And a move like this takes a lot of time. We have to put up chandeliers and lots of complicated lighting." The location of Bellissimo will be different but the store's phone number will remain the same. For more information call 423-6014.

Spot on

Sore Spots Massage Therapy, with locations at both the Delta Halifax at 1990 Barrington and the Delta Barrington at 1875 Barrington, has a new proprietor and principal massage therapist, who's trying to make massage therapy accessible to all people in Halifax. Jamie Lynn Chediac has taken over the six-year-old business, which specializes in Swedish massage designed to reduce both physical and emotional stress. Jamie Lynn came back to Halifax after working in a rural Quebec community for two years, fine tuning her French language skills. "I was homesick!" she says of her move back to Halifax (she graduated from the Canadian College of Massage and Hydrotherapy in Bedford). "The experience was useful because a lot of my current clientele speak French, but I wanted to be back." This is Chediac's first time being in charge and she says she wants to take the opportunity to draw clientele from outside the hotel. "One thing that's important to me is to keep massage therapy accessible to a lot of different people, and to make it flexible enough that people who have hectic schedules can come in by having really good hours of operation," she says. "We're open seven days a week, for instance. I keep my staff small, too, which makes us more intimate and give us a little bit of an edge." While Chediac says she hasn't made any major changes since taking over, so as to retain as many customers as possible, she adds that first-time customers are always welcome. To book an appointment at Sore Spots, call 492-6439.

Flight check

The recent increase in flight options to and from Halifax continues with the announcement of additional flights between Halifax and Toronto available from Porter Airlines. From June 29 to September 24, the airline will be offering four daily flights to Halifax from the Toronto City Centre Airport—two via Ottawa and two via Montreal. Initially, one-way flights on all Halifax routes will be available at a starting price of $199. Reservations can be made by phone at 1-888-619-8622 or online at: www.flyporter.com

Vivo, say it ain't so

Vivo Bistro, located at 2796 Windsor Street, has closed. Management could not be reached for comment.

Reachable for comment, or whatever. Email: shoptalk@thecoast.ca

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