Burgh Business Briefs (February 2022)

By Andre Gagne, Jane Heintzman, Randy Mar and Tamara Miller (this article appeared in the February 2022 edition of the New Edinburgh News)

Nature’s Buzz to close forever Feb. 19

On Feb. 19, Nature’s Buzz will close its doors for the last time, ending two decades of operation in our community as a hub for organic supplies. Throughout this 20-year period, the store has been a family-run operation, launched in 2002 by Dr. Mark Patry and his family, and later purchased in 2007 by Dale Heins, partner of store associate Nancy Phillips

Nancy’s son Eric Passmore and daughter Chelsea Passmore – the current store manager and sales associate respectively – have become familiar figures here in the Burgh. The family has worked hard to keep locals supplied with a wide range of organic products, from meat, fish, and poultry to fresh produce, dairy items, baking supplies and more. 

The Passmore–Phillips’ tenure on Beechwood has been far from uneventful. In March 2011, the store’s original location at 23 Beechwood Ave. was completely destroyed by fire. For many months, the future of the business remained in doubt as the commercial community grappled with the challenges of relocation or, in some cases, closure. Happily, Nature’s Buzz was able to secure a spot nearby at 55 Beechwood Ave. (at Douglas Avenue), where it has since remained in operation.

In recent years, the store has faced another serious challenge: the roller coaster ride of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a food supplier and thus an essential service, Nature’s Buzz was never required to close its doors, but was inevitably affected by the supply problems which continue to plague all sectors of the economy. Operating a small business is not for the faint of heart at the best of times, less still in the middle of a global pandemic!

According to Nancy, the immediate trigger for the store’s impending closure was the expiry of its current lease. Of the two major options available – renew the lease and carry on or attempt to find a buyer for the business – the Passmore–Phillips family opted for the latter. “We had a few bites,” says Nancy, but the search was ultimately unsuccessful, so the store will soon close.

While Nancy looks forward to a well-deserved retirement, both Eric and Chelsea hope to devote their full attention to their other vocations: Eric is an accomplished singer–song writer, whose musical talent first came to light in our community following the release several years ago of his début solo album, Pages of the Day. He has since been composing and recording new works, some in Nashville by Direct Image Studios. (Visit soundcloud.com/eric-passmore-990261307)

Chelsea plans to employ her expertise as a personal trainer and yoga instructor. She also has notable artistic talent as a dancer, and with Eric’s help of her brother, has ventured into the musical realm in composing and performing a song to accompany dance choreography. 

We sincerely thank Eric, Chelsea, and Nancy for their many years of welcoming service in our community and wish them every success in their new endeavours.

So, what’s next for 55 Beechwood Ave? On Mar. 1, next-door neighbour Chilaquiles will take over the Nature’s Buzz premises and begin renovations to refit the space for the popular Mexican restaurant. Chilaquiles’ owner Kelvin Molina anticipates about a two-month construction process and hopes to make the move from 49 to 55 Beechwood Ave. at some point in May. In the meantime, Chilaquiles will remain open at its current location. After the move, Kelvin plans to launch a new business at 49 Beechwood Ave.: the specifics are still under discussion but should be nailed down in time for the NEN’s next edition in April. Stay tuned! –JH

Natural pet-food shop opens

Chew-That, a locally owned and operated pet supplies store with two existing locations in the Ottawa area, opened a new location at 141 Beechwood Ave. (the former home of Le Suq and before that, Jacobsons) at the end of January. You may already have visited Chew-That by the time NEN goes to print.

Like their Riverside South and Almonte locations, the new Beechwood store will offer only the best selection of high-quality pet food, treats, and accessories.

Chew-That owner Renée Hamilton brings a life-long passion to her business: she comes from a farming background; bred, raised, and trained dogs and horses; and trained as a pet nutritionist. She extensively researches and scrutinizes every product’s sourcing and specifications before a it lands on her shelves.

New Edinburgh and area pet owners will appreciate a unique pet-food selection and may recognize such brands as Fromm, Boreal, Oxbow, and Champion – many not typically found at big-box chains.  

“Along with the research I do, what makes us unique is that we try to source our toys and treats locally or regionally, and we appreciate working with vendors who think and operate like us” Renée told NEN. “We focus on your pet’s nutrition and overall wellness.”  

To that end, Renée and her staff are excited to offer doggy training, fitness, and daycare at the Beechwood Avenue location. The Beechwood–Acacia corner will easily allow Renée to take her own dog, along with other dogs under Chew-That’s care, to the Rockeries for great romps. The shop also offers an array of home-baked pet cupcakes, cakes, and other treats for celebrations.

Chew-That understands that animals are cherished members of our households; including, of course, feline friends and other family pets. In fact, Renée and staff often hear that they treat client’s pets like their own.

Pets and their owners are sure to extend a warm, waggly welcome to the neighbourhood!

Chew-That is located at 141 Beechwood Ave. Contact them at chew-that.ca, 613- 695-6448 or info@chew-that.ca –RM

Your friendly, neighbourhood cannabis shop

Following up on our October BBB report that Munchies Cannabis had applied for a permit to open a location at 131B Beechwood Ave., we can confirm that they officially opened for business on Dec. 26.

NEN chatted with co-owner and retail manager Mary-Anne Hanna to get an idea of what one can expect from this cannabis store.  

Munchies Cannabis is locally owned and operated by the Hanna family – long-time Ottawa residents. The company was a year and half in the making and is committed to three things: bringing in the best legal products; providing the best education; and creating a fun, friendly and positive environment for people from all walks of life. 

What sets Munchies apart from other cannabis stores is the in-house branding and décor, as well as their focus on cannabis education and information. Local artist @falldowng created the art for the store (including an Instagram wall), all of which was inspired by the Hanna family’s vision. There is no shortage of information about cannabis available to patrons to help them make informed decisions. The educational wall features nine customised poster boards with facts about cannabis. The shop’s dedicated employees – called budtenders – were carefully recruited to provide information and guidance in a safe and respectful space.

Destigmatizing cannabis is very important to Mary-Anne and the other owners of Munchies. They opened the store because of their passion for the plant, and they want community members to know that they follow provincial and federal regulations very closely. Patrons will notice a strict age-gating protocol: cannabis products are not even visible to minors who may approach the store. Only when a person’s age has been verified will they be allowed to enter the establishment.

Mary-Anne and her family are excited to be part of the Beechwood business community and encourage anyone who is curious to come and see the store for themselves and to speak with their knowledgeable employees.

Munchies Cannabis is located at 131B Beechwood Ave. Opening hours are from 10 a.m.–9 p.m. Monday through Saturday; and 10 a.m.–6 p.m. on Sunday. Reach them at 613-748-1000; follow them on social media @munchiescannaco and view their menu online at munchiescannnabis.ca –TM

Editor’s note: As of publishing, a second cannabis shop has applied to open on Beechwood. Sessions Cannabis has applied at 196 Beechwood Ave. – the new building on the site of the former Burton’s Dive shop. The public notice period ended Jan. 19. 

Orleans law firm plants new roots

Natalie Guertin and Michèle Poirier are the proud co-founders of Guertin Poirier Avocates/Lawyers, a new law firm at 203–16 Beechwood Ave. providing fully bilingual notary and legal services in real estate law and estate protection. 

Although established in 2021, the roots of GP stretch back generations, and as far as New Brunswick. Natalie carries on a century-old family tradition serving Ottawa’s real-estate community. Following the client-care model established by her father Louis, Natalie focuses on providing hassle-free, knowledgeable, and responsive legal services to homeowners and their agents.

Said Natalie: “We are very excited to open our doors to the community,” to which Michèle added: “and in turn open doors for you!”  

Graduates of the University of Ottawa and l’Université de Moncton respectively, Natalie and Michèle each hold a Juris Doctor in Common Law (French). The pair met while at Guertin Law in Orleans.

The decision to take over the family law practice and relocate from Orleans was an easy one. A long-time Vanier resident, Natalie lives a short walk from the Beechwood Avenue office, often stopping for coffee en route. Michèle also loves the neighbourhood vibe of New Edinburgh.

Rounding out the GP team is Marianne at reception and Ashley providing legal assistance. Natalie’s mother Julie will soon join the Beechwood-based team, proudly bringing more than 30 years of estate-planning experience. All team members support the collaborative, client-centric approach to reaching the end goal: negotiating and closing real estate transactions in a respectful manner.

Natalie and Michèle each balance the demands of running a thriving professional practice and growing families – you will see them out and about in the neighbourhood.

Welcome to New Edinburgh, Natalie and Michèle!

Guertin Poirier Avocates/Lawyers is located at 203–16 Beechwood Ave. Contact them at 613-744-4488 or visit guertinpoirierlaw.ca.

Pub brings warmth to those in need
With some of the coldest days of year upon us, many already facing tough times due to the pandemic are hard pressed to find warm winter outerwear. This is something Manny Garcia and Ottawa’s Clocktower Brew Pubs hope to rectify with their Take a Coat/Leave a Coat program.

Three years ago, Manny, the general manager of the Clocktower Pub on MacKay Street, spied a posting on social media offering free winter coats to people in need. He approached Clocktower Vice President Sean Rutherford, who agreed it was a program worth developing at all pub locations. 

“We saw that there was a need for it and having seven locations spread across Ottawa, we would be able to reach more people that needed a nice warm jacket in the winter with no questions asked. It’s just a nice way to give back to the community,” Manny said to the New Edinburgh News.

New Edinburgh residents may have spied the coatrack on the patio of the 422 MacKay St. location. It is left out all day and all night for those to either donate a coat or take one if needed. 

“We usually start getting phone calls in in late October and early November inquiring, but we put out the coatrack in the beginning late November or early December until we find the temperature getting warmer,” says Manny.

Donors can add coats for men, women, and children to the rack. Manny assures there are no questions asked of those wishing to take one of the donations, and adds that people have begun donating gloves, scarves, and even winter boots. Every little bit helps bring some much-needed warmth to those in need.

“The staff and I could not believe the number of jackets that were being taken on a daily basis, showing that we do have a problem with low-income and homelessness in every neighbourhood of Ottawa,” Manny says. Due to current pandemic and economic events, there is an ever-increasing number of those facing financial hardship. 


Last year, the City of Ottawa launched a Point-in-Time count – the first since 2018 – to survey persons experiencing homelessness. While the date for this count has yet to be released at the time of this article, the 2018 count listed 1,400 participants in need. 

““This is such a rewarding program…and yet so simple. If you are able to donate any item that would help, please do,” urges Manny. 

The Clocktower Pub is located at 422 MacKay St. Contact them at 613-742-3169info.mackay@clocktower.ca or visit clocktower.ca–ARG

Amsted Design Build

Since the launch of its satellite office, or “Living Room,” at 17 Springfield Rd. in 2014, Stittsville, Ont.-based Amsted Design Build has built up a solid local clientele of homeowners planning small- and large-scale renovation projects, or in need of regular home maintenance. COVID notwithstanding, they are accepting visits to the Springfield Road office by appointment (613-836-7434; info@amsted.ca)

Owner Steve Barkhouse takes particular pride in the company’s Home Care department – a service central to Amsted’s overarching goal of establishing “clients for life.” It handles what he describes as “Honey-Do lists,” including adaptations to improve safety and livability for seniors, as well as coverage for those with busy travel schedules.

With more than three decades of experience in the design–build business in Ottawa, Amsted has an impressive range of expertise, resources, and supply networks. They have won multiple awards in categories ranging from green building to heritage preservation and kitchen design. There are currently 50 full-time Amsted employees, including six designers with specializations ranging from modern and contemporary styles to traditional arts-and-crafts. Project planners and project coordinators are also key members of the Amsted team, taking the lead with designers to plan home renovations big and small. 

For Steve, the beauty of the design–build model is to break down the project planning process into small, manageable increments, each of which can be fully mapped out in terms of scale, cost, and availability of resources, before moving on to the next step. 

He points out that at least 80 per cent of full-scale architectural drawings are never built, in most cases because of cost. By contrast, the “baby step” model minimizes the potential waste of time and money on a no-go project, and leaves time for fine tuning. His advice to prospective renovators: “Take the time you need to get exactly what you want, and have a budget in mind.”

Amsted’s planners and builders work year-round, regardless of the weather. In that sense, says Steve, there are no “busy seasons.” But, alas, he admits, there are now “COVID seasons” with which the company has had to contend as it navigates the rollercoaster of pandemic waves, most recently the Omicron tsunami. 

A major effect of the pandemic: ubiquitous supply chain bottlenecks which have had a dramatic effect on material availability, often paralyzing progress towards project completion. But over the years, Amsted has built up an advantage: strong relationships with suppliers that allow for as much predictability as is feasible in the current turbulent environment. Another “Amsted advantage” in the COVID context is its very large team, allowing for flexibility to call in replacements if needed to cover COVID-related absences. 

If a renovation is on your list of tasks that can no longer be put off, Steve’s advice is to start the process sooner rather than later. If you’re working with an Amsted project planning and design team, they can help you get the plan in place, the budget established, and the materials ordered – the timing of the build is then yours to decide. 

For more details, visit amsted.ca or call 613-836-7434–JH

Shift to virtual a benefit for local therapist

When NEN last featured Soul to Soul Counselling in June 2020, the practice had just moved online, and Nur Ambreen Ihsanullah’s clients were adjusting to the new approach.  

We caught up with Ambreen – mystic, teacher and therapist for more than 30 years, as well as the owner of Soul to Soul – to talk to us about her practice and how things have been going over the last year and a half.

Ambreen’s practice used to be located on Beechwood Avenue, but she shifted to her New Edinburgh home in March 2020, where she has been offering virtual counselling ever since. The move has been a positive one for Ambreen, in that she can now work with clients anywhere in the world.  

A retired teacher, Ambreen restarted her counselling practice in 2017 after returning to Ottawa from overseas. She found that traditional talk therapy didn’t create lasting change for those dealing with heavy issues, so she decided to take a different approach with her work. She calls it “soul-level work” and notes that her approach to therapy has always been holistic.

The shift to virtual practice means Ambreen now works with clients across Canada, the United States and even as far away as Dubai. In addition to counselling, she also teaches workshops using a therapeutic method known as Family Constellations, which she credits with changing her practice. This soul-based approach to healing inherited trauma and negative life patterns frees clients as individuals to live their authentic lives.

Ambreen encourages interested readers to attend one of her upcoming information sessions free of charge. “If you want to deep-dive, I am your person. We can unwrap the layers of social conditioning to discover the gift that is you!”

Visit Soul-to-Soul Counselling at soultosoulcounselling.com to request a consultation.  Contact Ambreen directly at connect@soultosoulcounselling.com or call 
613-421-9277.  Appointments are offered From Tuesdays through Thursdays. –TM

Should a portion of Stanley Ave. be closed for good?

By Jason Tavoularis (This article appeared in the December 2021 edition of the New Edinburgh News)

I would like to start by thanking Marc D’Orgeville for serving as chair of the New Edinburgh Community Alliance’s (NECA) Traffic and Safety (T&S) committee these past few years, and for encouraging me to step up to replace him. Marc came to my home on Dufferin Road recently to complete the transition. We discussed various T&S matters like Dufferin Road’s new speed humps, a project we had worked on together, liaising with City Councillor Rawlson King’s office and adjacent residents.

But it was the Stanley Avenue road closure in late October/early November that really animated us. One of the documents Marc transferred to me as the new T&S chair was NECA’s 1997 Community Directed Traffic Calming Study report which recommended closing Stanley Avenue to traffic from the New Edinburgh Fieldhouse (203 Stanley Ave.) to the entrance of River Lane on Dufferin Road. This recommendation never moved forward due to the potential for negative spin-off effects.

The recent temporary closure inadvertently gave us an interesting proof point that seemingly justifies further study towards a Stanley Avenue revamp without through traffic. Marc and I live on opposite ends of the closure that was recommended in the NECA traffic calming report almost 25 years ago. Neither of us witnessed a negative impact from the recent closure. We did observe a more relaxing atmosphere in Stanley Park without cars driving past the playground. Did any other park users perceive this? Surely, there must have been some traffic diverted from Stanley Avenue onto Crichton or MacKay Streets, but did those living on these streets notice?

The path towards permanently changing Stanley Avenue in such a way is a long one that would need broad support to succeed, including that of residents, our community associations and our councillor –no small feat to achieve. But I think the potential benefits make this worth revisiting. I’m optimistic that this stretch of road in question can be redesigned to keep commuters away from the playground and the dog park without loss of parking or green space. Maybe a proposed plan would include a road segment repurposed as a vibrant gathering spot, like a skatepark or a vegetated area with seating?

I would like to hear your traffic and safety ideas and concerns for New Edinburgh, including this big idea for Stanley Avenue. Did you experience any negative effects from the recent closure on this street? What worries you most about a prolonged closure? How would you like to see a stretch of the road reclaimed? Any parking arrangement ideas for that tricky road bend? Would you support a temporary closure, perhaps during the summer months, to allow the effects to be evaluated more scientifically?

Please mail me at info@newedinburgh.ca

BBB Local Holiday Guide: Dining Out

Celebrating the holidays with the return of in-person dining

By Andre R. Gagne (This article appeared in the December 2021 edition of the New Edinburgh News)

With the holidays just around the corner and some of the pandemic restrictions being removed, especially with regard to gathering limits, there is cause for much comfort and joy. Many are looking forward to having Grandma, a dozen cousins and Uncle Marv over again for turkey and all the trimmings, but those still not ready for crowded homes (or maybe you just don’t want to cook) can also rejoice. Some New Edinburgh restaurants have tantalizing festive delights ready to serve and we aren’t just talking about milk and cookies. 

“We love the holiday season here at Fraser, and that certainly reflects in our festive décor, ambiance, and menu. Every year we set up our little Christmas tree, hang snowflakes, and play seasonal music,” says Thessaly Lloyd, general manager at Fraser. “Our menu always features seasonal items, and we have fun getting playful with our cocktails to reflect the holidays.” Case in point: in early December, the “Snow Ball” and “Blitzen” cocktails top the drinks menu, while the lunch and dinner food menus feature traditional Christmas ingredients including Brussels sprouts and squash, as well as winter warmers like pot-au-feu (a short-rib stew).

In-person dining has resumed at Fraser, with the standard public health rules in play: contact tracing, vaccine passports, and masks required when guests are away from their table, Thessaly notes. The restaurant is hoping their dry-aging program for their steaks, a first for Fraser, is a mouth-watering lure as well as other items served in generous portions. 

“Our portions, flavour, and quality are unmatched, and our Christmas Takeaway menu is no exception,” beams Thessaly as she recounts the offerings available at Fraser’s takeaway business. “It is the perfect option for anyone who is looking for a delicious and carefully prepared meal boasting many seasonal favourites. With detailed reheating instructions included, it is a superb choice for a quick and simple holiday dinner! It has been a tough year, but you’ve all made it possible for us to continue on, and we are incredibly grateful!” Fraser Restaurant, Takeaway & Bottle Shop is at 7 Springfield Rd. Contact 613-749-1444 or frasercafe.ca.

Over at the Clocktower Brew Pub at 422 MacKay St., they just couldn’t wait! Forget the 12 Days of Christmas, they started decorating in November. This being the first holiday season in two years, general manager Manny Garcia is especially excited to have guests back inside for parties and family gatherings. 

“We are gearing up to have a busy, fun Christmas Season. We want to be everyone’s Christmas destination where you can meet up with long-time friends or family and have some Christmas cheer,” says Manny, adding that his favourite part of the season is seeing everyone either wearing Christmas sweaters or Santa hats, some even exchanging gifts right there in the pub. 


A personal tradition is that before closing up early on Christmas Eve, Manny nips over to Mario’s Food Centre on McArthur Avenue to purchase some Portuguese treats for their everyday regulars as well as his staff. 

This year, there’s a new brew on the menu!

“We have a very nice seasonal beer called Billy Goat Brew. It’s an Espresso White Stout. We collaborated with local coffee company Happy Goat Coffee.”

Clocktower staff are grateful to be continuing their Winter Jacket Program for a third year in which, on a coatrack outside of the pub, jackets for all ages and sexes are left for the less fortunate. They welcome donations. 

“As a fixture of New Edinburgh for the past decades we truly feel part of the fabric of this wonderfully unique neighbourhood,” says Manny. “We are so fortunate to be able to serve such great guests, many who feel like family. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy Holidays to everyone.” Find the Clocktower Brew Pub at 422 MacKay St. Call 613-742-3169 or clocktower.ca.

BBB Local Holiday Guide: Gifts

Find beautiful, tasty, and fun gifts – within walking distance

By Tamara Miller (This article appeared in the December 2021 edition of the New Edinburgh News)

If you don’t want to worry about shipping delays for holiday gifts this year, consider shopping local to avoid the hassle. Many of our local business in Beechwood Village have curated wonderful holiday offerings for everyone on your list. Here are some gift ideas from local business to get you started.

ORESTA organic skin care is a boutique at 137 Beechwood Ave. specializing in clean beauty and wellness. Their ORESTA Holiday 2021 Gift Guide offers a unique selection of stocking stuffers and thoughtfully curated gift boxes, beautifully wrapped and ready to give, for everyone on your holiday list. The ORESTA team is here to help you find the perfect “I love it! How did you know?” gift. ORESTA’s beautiful shop is located at 137 Beechwood. Holiday hours are Tuesday to Saturday 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Find them online at oresta.ca.

The Jacobsons team at 103 Beechwood Ave. has prepared some truly special gift options from among their favourite seasonal items: from Santa-adorned Italian panettone, limited-edition drinking-chocolate sets, and a series of exclusive chocolate bars by Anna Stubbe, to sweet treats for your Advent calendar. Bespoke gifts are easy this year: with four sizes of seasonal tote bags to choose from, guests can fill a beautifully designed bag with their favourite items from around the shop. No need for wrapping! For those you want to really spoil, consider giving a subscription to Jacobsons’ Cheese of the Month Club, a specialty food gift set, or a gift box filled with fine foods and tied by hand with a bow. Lastly, the team at Jacobsons is always happy to prepare a gift certificate (in-store or online) if you would like to give the gift of choice. Jacobsons is located at 103 Beechwood Ave. and is open seven days a week. You can also find them online at jacobsons.ca.

“What strikes you as beautiful?” That’s the motto of Electric Street Gallery, a friendly, local neighbourhood art gallery at 299 Crichton St. specializing in uplifting, life-affirming, positive art – all locally made, of course. If you have ever strolled by the large shop windows, you know they often have themed collections, and their theme for the holidays is “Songs of Celebration.” Local artists have contributed fabulous, music-themed works including songbirds, whales (yes, whales sing!), guitars, a trumpet, and a French horn, and more. The gallery carries a wide variety of artistic styles and media, at a range of prices to appeal to a variety of tastes. And if you don’t know exactly what the art-lover on your list would like, you can always choose a gift certificate. The Electric Street Gallery is now open for extended hours: Wednesdays and Fridays from noon until 5p.m., and Thursdays and Saturdays from noon until 7p.m. The gallery is located at 299 Crichton St. Visit them online at electricstreet.art.

You may know Red Door Provisions (177 Beechwood Ave.) as a small, cozy coffee shop, but did you know you could also find the perfect gift for that special someone on your list this holiday season? Their seasonal, handmade, microbatch jams, marmalades, and pickles are always a treat. And this year, besides their food and drink offerings, you can pick up some of their merchandise, from a pink or cream coloured Red Door Provisions Cycling t-shirt, a black cycling hoodie, or a Red Door Provisions cycling water bottle! Red Door is open seven days a week at 117 Beechwood Ave. or online at reddoorprovisions.com

And don’t forget about two more locations where you might find that special something!  The Guardian Pharmacy at 5 Beechwood Ave. (corner of Crichton Street) has a wonderful assortment of items to peruse. There are children’s toys and crafting supplies, beautiful jewelry and clothing, housewares, and décor as well as some great stocking stuffers like candy and skincare items.

And there’s more than just books at Books on Beechwood at 35 Beechwood Ave. at MacKay Street! They have something for everyone on your list, including puzzles, children’s activity and sticker books, cards, stylish totes, and more. Check out Books on Beechwood’s staff book picks on page 30-31. Visit their online shop at booksonbeechwood.ca.