Altered space | Shoptalk | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST

Altered space

T.C. Demaresq browses for business news.

Alteregos Cafe in the Halifax Backpackers Hostel at 2193 Gottingen has expanded its dining room to include one of the hostel’s former dorm rooms. The expansion happened two weeks ago after Alteregos closed its patio for the winter, but didn’t want to turn away all the people still stopping by for coffee or lunch. “It’s great, it’s really wonderful to see people slowly learn how to use the new space, because they’re so used to it being such a small area,” says owner Michelle Strum. “Lots of customers that we were already having for take-out coffee are now using that space to meet with people or do some work.” The hostel comprises 24 beds, and with the recent conversion of dorm room to dining room, they now have space to serve breakfast to all their guests. The cafe is open Monday through Saturday from 8am to 6pm and Sunday until 4pm. Daily lunch specials include pesto turkey wraps and roasted vegetable paninis.

Colourful language

Corporate Communications Limited (CCL) has re-invented itself as Colour. “We’re not an advertising agency, although we create ads,” proclaims their website, “We’re the first of a new breed. Creative persuasion is all about delivering whatever’s necessary to help build our clients’ brands.” Colour, like its predecessor CCL (not to be confused with CCL Group, of which Colour is still a part), will specialize in advertising, public relations, marketing and communications. “Our job is to help our clients get closer to their customers in a way that will get noticed,” writes Colour president Chris Keevill in the company press release. “To do that we focus on people—the way they think, act and feel. We see things from their perspective and use these insights to help our clients reach their customers and stakeholders…Our job is to figure out how to combine customer insights, human behaviour, and whatever implementation tools work to deliver creative ideas that persuade.”

Little smile

Souris Mini, a Quebec-based boutique specializing in children’s clothing, has expanded into Atlantic Canada with the launch of its store in the Halifax Shopping Centre. “Mixing function and fashion, Souris Mini is focused on carefully crafting creative and durable children’s clothing to offer our customers something different,” writes Annie Bellavance, designer and founder of Souris Mini. “After recently opening a store in Dubai, we are excited to be introducing this approach in another strong retail market like Halifax.” First established in 1989 after Bellavance “tried unsuccessfully to find distinctive clothing for her two-year old daughter,” Souris mini now counts 23 stores worldwide. The store sells a full range of clothing for babies (three to 24 months) and children (two to 10 years), including such creative collections as “Salade de fruits de l’amite,” “Techno lapin” and “Papillons doux.”

Bettermeat patty

Burger Gourmet, one of the newest vendors in the Harbourside Market, might be closing for the winter months. “The summer is very busy, but once the end of October comes everything slows down here,” says manager Allen Barkhouse, who claims to make the best burger in Halifax. “We don’t do your ordinary, everyday, run-of-the-mill burger,” says Barkhouse, “we try to use the best ingredients on hand.” Burger Gourmet first opened in June after the Harbourside Grill closed and left an opening in the burgers-and-fries department. “In the Harbourside Market we all offer something different so we’re not in conflict with the other vendors,” says Barkhouse.

For the ladies

Pro Skates of 5222 Blowers opened a new store on Saturday, just up the street, in the former Blue Heron location. Tentatively called Pro Girl, the store houses an expanded version of Pro Skates’ women’s section. “We had the girl’s section there at the back, but it was getting a little small and we couldn’t really do it justice so we figured it’s time to open it’s own store,” says owner Zachary Tovey. The new store will offer all the same brands as the women’s section, “but a lot more of it and in a nicer setting, not a stinky skate shop.” Tovey hopes the store will expand in the coming year to be its own “hardgoods” store, specializing in more skateboards and snowboards for women. Pro Girl currently offers skateboards, but gear-conscious girls will still want to shop at Pro Skates as well. Tovey credits an increase in “female traffic” at Pro Skates as the motivation for Pro Girl, and looks forward to serving lady skaters in a “new, open and girl-friendly” environment. “We have no expectations,” says Tovey. “We’re going to do it, we think it’s going to do well, we’re just going to see what happens, and so far it’s looking like it’s going to be pretty good.”

RB back

The Royal Bank ATM is operational at the corner of Spring Garden and Queen, only now the ABM is accessed directly off Spring Garden. A sign in the window informs clients that “We appreciate your patience as the building is remodeled by the Halifax Film Company. RBC is pleased to be a part of this development and our ABM will remain on-site to meet your banking needs.” Note to RBC clients: if you’re looking to deposit cash or cheques, be sure to bring your own envelope.

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