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Thursday, July 19, 2007

The natural look

T.C. Demaresq browses for business news.

Posted By on Thu, Jul 19, 2007 at 3:14 PM

Evyeneia Manolakos, owner of Foxy Moon Hair Gallery at 2393 Agricola, was hearing the same complaint from many of her customers. "A lot of my clients are sensitive to products, so they weren't using any in their hair," she says. "I was telling them how to make natural products themselves at home, but I realized that no one was actually going to do that." To save her clients the time, Manolakos has started making and selling her own line of natural haircare products under the Foxy Moon label. The first of these products, an all-natural hair paste, is now available at the salon. The paste can be used "anywhere from short, choppy cuts to texturizing the ends of longer hair." It's also multi-purpose, and can be used as a hand or foot cream, or even a lip balm. The paste sells for $12 for a 2oz container. Also planned for the future are a shampoo, a conditioner and anti-frizz drops. To make the products, Manolakos teamed up with her sister, Anastasia, who makes natural soaps and beauty products for her own line called Anointment. For more information, call Foxy Moon at 444-7675.

Black gold

Spring on University, the fitness club and retail shop, may have closed its doors, but the cafe portion of the complex will stay alive under a new name. Ouro Preto is planning on officially opening on Monday, July 23 in the same location as the Spring Cafe at 5743 University Ave. The cafe is named for a UNESCO World Heritage town in Brazil. Ouro Preto is one of the oldest trading towns in one of the most predominant coffee territories in Brazil. Paul Graham, one of the three owners, felt the cafe could continue to do a good business. "It's a quite a unique space," he says of the sunny and spacious location. The windows that run along the entire front of the cafe look out onto the green belt that bisects University Avenue. There is also a patio for sunny summer sipping. The fitness center portion of the building will remain empty until another business moves in, but Graham is confident that the cafe will do well on its own. "Whereas before the cafe was a small part of the building, now it will be the focal point." Things are just about ready for business at Ouro Preto, but they are waiting for their new logo and signage to be finished, and for a new paint job after the space was recently used as a filming location for the Ricki Lake movie being shot in Halifax.

Third base

When it rains it pours...coffee, that is! (Ouch!) The south end isn't the only part of town getting a new neighborhood coffee shop. George and Gina Christakos are opening a yet-to-be-named cafe in the space at the corner of Windsor and Almon, formerly the home of Vivo Bistro. "We're looking to be a pretty casual, comfortable spot to hang out," says George Christakos. "We're working toward a coffeehouse atmosphere with a "Third Place' concept—a space you can call your own, away from work and home—casual and comfortable with a hint of sophistication." The "Third Place" will feature wi-fi internet, a brick-fired oven and a liquor license, along with an espresso bar and full cafe menu which includes lunch and dinner. The Christakos family are no strangers to the restaurant business. George just finished a one-year stint as the manager of the re-vamped Armview Restaurant, but he tells me his new venture will involve the whole family. "Our grandmother, YiaYia Georgia, will be showing us all her bread and dessert recipes and a few other kitchen secrets." Right now the space is being renovated, but is expected to be open by mid-August.

Second base?

Rumours have been floating around about the possibility of the Empire Dartmouth theatre on Portland Street becoming Metro's only second-run movie theatre. Dean Leland, VP of marketing at Empire, says no such decisions have been made. "Right now we are playing with pricing , but it's still a first-run product, just at second-run pricing." To compete with the new and exciting Empire Dartmouth Crossing multiplex, the Portland Street six-screen theatre has now lowered its prices to $6.99 for all seats. There are no plans to close the theatre, as Empire has already done with the Penhorn and Bedford locations, and for now at least, it will continue to screen new releases. So those of us who missed Stomp The Yard on the big screen are just going to have to deal.

Of note

Duly Noted, the charming little stationary shop on Quinpool Road, has started selling its greeting cards at Pete's Frootique on Dresden Row. When asked how the new arrangement has been working out so far, Duly Noted co-owner Nicole Venema says "Awesome!" The cards have been in Pete's Frootique since the beginning of July. For more information about Duly Noted and their products, go to dulynoted.ca... No more excuses for looking like a slob. Banana Republic, The Gap's snobby younger sibling, has opened at the Halifax Shopping Centre. Let me be the one millionth person to say that, yes, they have no bananas. But they do have chinos. Boy, do they have chinos... And what better place to wear new Banana Republic duds than the new Starbucks Cafe, now open in the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront on Lower Water Street.

Dress our inbox with tips about business changes. Email: shoptalk@thecoast.ca

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