While the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t been kind to many local businesses, the owners behind Chanoey’s Pasta have found the world’s dreary situation actually worked in their favour. On Jan 7, Carl Mangali and Catherine Paulino opened the second location of their popular quick-service pasta restaurant, at 6214 Quinpool Road, and they’re already seeing steady success.
The husband-wife duo opened their first location in June 2020 at 41 Portland Street, in downtown Dartmouth. Back then, only the two of them ran Chanoey’s Pasta—a portmanteau of the names of Friends characters Chandler and Joey—where they concentrated on offering quality pasta dishes rooted in affordability, portability and quickness.
At first, they wanted to keep the business small and local, focusing on serving the community they also live in. But with the success they saw in Dartmouth, opening up Chanoey’s Pasta to people on the other side of the harbour became a potentially good opportunity.
“It’s like a pandemic-proof business,” Paulino says, adding the first store continues to sell out daily. “We just realized that we hit the jackpot as soon as we started doing take-out pastas.”
Dozens of local businesses fell victim to harsh pandemic-related restrictions since 2020, but Paulino says business at Chanoey’s grew each time Nova Scotia saw a COVID-19 wave and the public faced a fresh set of gathering guidelines. “Open dine-in, closed dine-in—people are done with it. So, they always do take-out anyways,” she says. “It doesn’t affect us if the government changes the rules.”
Opening a second location also became a no-brainer when certain factors fell into place for Mangali and Paulino. After hiring six more employees to support the Dartmouth location, the duo realized they likely wouldn’t run into trouble with being short-staffed.
On top of that, Mangali and Paulino lucked out on securing their Quinpool location. The couple had always dreamed of setting up shop in the space occupied by Truly Tasty, so when the nearly decade-old ramen restaurant opened in a larger space within the same building last October, they contacted Truly Tasty owners Shanshan Liu and Jian Li about finding the building owner and taking over the space. It just so happened that Liu and Li owned the entire building and were seeking a respectable tenant they could trust.
Plus the space came with equipment. “The hood system is already here, the fridge is here and when they sent us the contract, they wanted to give everything that’s already in here,” Paulino says. “The old fridge and stuff, the hood, the sink. So, we didn’t have [to do] so much investment.”
With their new Halifax restaurant, Mangali and Paulino want to share the same food, flavours and experience they’ve been serving in Dartmouth. Chanoey’s Pasta features a wide-ranging menu full of pasta dishes covered in various meats and sauces such as beef stroganoff, donair and lamb rogan josh.
Mangali and Paulino also want to continue catering toward take-out orders, but both Chanoey’s Pasta locations will open for dine-in service on Jan 17. Dartmouth’s location caters more toward a lunch rush, meaning it’ll remain open between 10am to 8pm; Paulino says the Halifax store sees a spike during dinner, so will open from 11am to 9pm.
For now, both of them want to remain in the kitchen while they lay a foundation in their new location, and feel that Halifax’s store will be successful. But eventually, the two want to get out of the kitchen and focus more on honing their leadership abilities, educating new employees and creating more jobs.
“We want to be leaders now, we want to teach people now,” Paulino says. “We want to do training, we want to grow as a leader—I think that’s our goal next.”
But after immigrating to Canada from the Philippines in 2016, adapting to a new community and seeing steady business during a global pandemic, both of them are simply happy the city has welcomed them with open arms.
“We’re just happy we’re well-received in Halifax,” Mangali says. “We weren’t expecting it all; my heart’s full.”
@thecoasthalifax Chanoey's Pasta has found a second home across the harbour in #Halifax! The quick service pasta restaurant first opened in downtown Dartmouth in June 2020 focusing on quality pasta that can be served in under five minutes. Owners Carl Mangali and Catherine Paulino saw huge success, and decided to try their hand in Halifax's restaurant scene 🍝😯 #pasta #halifaxnovascotia #novascotia #foodtiktok #halifaxfood #pastatiktok ♬ FEEL THE GROOVE - Queens Road, Fabian Graetz