Burgh Business Briefs (April 2022)

By Jane Heintzman and Tamara Miller (This article originally appeared in the April 2022 edition of the New Edinburgh News)

Red Door co-owner opens new café

Late last fall, Lauren Power, the energetic owner–operator of Red Door Provisions at 117 Beechwood Ave., opened a new destination in the region’s culinary world. Lauren joined forces with business partner and skilled barista Emmett Pavey to take over Café Palmier, a cozy eatery opposite the Gatineau Park Visitors’ Centre at 40 Chemin Scott in Chelsea, Que. Café Palmier is housed in a spacious, state-of-the art building, and boasts lots of outdoor patio space for the warmer months to come.

The restaurant is open seven days a week, from 7:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 8:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. It serves a regular clientele of Chelsea locals along with hungry skiers, cyclists, and hikers visiting Gatineau Park from across the national capital region.

Café Palmier is closely linked to its sister operation at Red Door Provisions: its pastries are provided by Red Door’s production kitchen on Walkley Road. You’ll find many of your Beechwood favourites on the Chelsea menu, along with a similar repertoire of specialty coffees. Like Red Door, the café offers a lineup of preserves, pickles, maple syrup, hot chocolate, small-batch flours, and other products you can pick up when you visit for breakfast or lunch. And if you work up a thirst cycling or hiking in the park, craft beers and natural wines are also on the Café Palmier menu. The café’s freezer is well stocked with breads and pastries, and the team plans to stock a range of frozen meals as well. 

The two eateries do have a few differences, not least the Chelsea café’s significantly more spacious quarters. The Café Palmier menu is also, in Lauren’s words, “more involved” than the regular Red Door offering. She describes the breakfast menu as “fun fare,” with a touch of the eclecticism that characterizes her baking at Red Door. 

Breakfast options range from avocado toast to challah toast topped with peanut butter and jam; peanut butter and chocolate; ricotta and jam; and also beet and salmon gravlax. Try out breakfast bowls of all descriptions (several gluten-free): chia bowls; brown rice porridge; a “power” bowl; a “poké” bowl; and shakshuka, featuring poached eggs, spicy tomato and red pepper sauce, parmesan and ricotta cheeses, green onions, and greens. 

Lauren’s immediate to-do list for the Chelsea operation includes a major update of the Café Palmier website. For the moment, you can call 819-827-1777 for more information. We wish Lauren and Emmett the best of luck in their new venture, and a long and successful summer in that sylvan location. 

Back home in New Edinburgh, Red Door Provisions (117 Beechwood Ave.) continues to flourish as a hub for fine teas and coffees, and irresistible baked fare. Beechwood manager Kerry McRae also coordinates the supply links between Red Door’s production kitchen and Café Palmier, as well as the business’ catering operation. The store continues to operate on a take-out only basis, but looks forward to opening up both front and rear patios once the weather warms up. –JH

Dhruvees officially opens

We last spoke to Donald Wingell, founder and president of Wingell Hospitality group, in October 2021 just after his purchase of the former eatery Jasper at 18 Beechwood Ave., when his restaurant was just a concept. With Dhruvees now open for business, we caught up with Donald to learn more about his exciting new restaurant.

Dhruvees serves “North Star Cuisine,” inviting guests to experience various Asian cuisines in one location, with dishes carefully crafted by world-renowned Michelin Star celebrity chef Vikas Khanna. Dhruvees hasdeveloped its own signature spice mixtures – masalas – based on traditional recipes, with partners Arun Spices and Golden Roots in Malaysia.  Every day they mix the masalas, using key spice ingredients to marinate locally sourced Ontario meats.

Dhruvees’ signature dishes include the Indonesian favourite lamb rendang, Sri Lankan pepper crab, salmon tikka, and chicken malai tikka. The biryanis (available in lamb, chicken, shrimp, and vegetable) are made with fragrant long-grain basmati rice. Donald notes that if anyone has a specific meat or seafood request for a biryani, they can simply place an advance order. 

Dhruvees recently in introduced a daily “power lunch” menu that features a combination of steamed basmati rice, chapathi, chicken curry of the day, vegetable curry of the day, spiced baby potatoes, vegetable salad, and the daily dessert. This is in addition to a daily afternoon tea featuring Indian and Sri Lankan snacks, served from 3–5:30p.m. Their specially curated children’s menu with mini portions of select dishes has also been very popular with families.  

Donald also plans to start a weekday lunch buffet beginning in April, and a weekend brunch special which will include sparkling wines and mimosas, and an eclectic choice of North Star Cuisines’ dishes. Be on the lookout for live jazz music on select evenings at the Dhruvees’ corner patio as the weather gets nicer!

Dhruvees is located at 18 Beechwood Ave. Learn more or place a takeout order at dhruvees.com – your meal will be ready for pick-up in 35 minutes. –TM

New bakery emerges from its shell

When architect and designer Maged Kamal undertook an award-winning restoration–renovation of a dilapidated former bakery on The Mews Lane here in New Edinburgh, it never crossed his mind that he might someday operate a bakery of his own, only a few kilometres away at 285 St. Patrick St. (between Cumberland and Dalhousie Streets). But that improbable coincidence has become a reality, and Maged is poised to launch The Orange Turtle Bakery in the coming weeks. “It’s a new kind of bakery,” he explains. “Small, community-based and offering specialty baked goods inspired by cultures from around the world, notably those of Europe and the Mediterranean.”

The links between Maged’s professional background as an architect and designer and his new vocation as a specialty baker and small-business operator may not be immediately obvious. But, he says: “it became clear to me with time, that I was able to bring the same creative processes to this new project, and apply them to recipes with very interesting results!” Maged is no stranger to the art of baking, having worked as a youth with his mother and grandmother, and later recreating many of their recipes. His plan is to start slowly at the Orange Turtle with a small assortment of baked goods – cakes, loaves (including several banana loaf variations), scones, and shortbread, – along with coffee and tea. Once the client base is established, he will gradually expand the repertoire to include unique cakes, specialty coffees and gourmet sandwiches.

Tasty baked goods have an obvious appeal. But Maged’s cosmopolitan background and extensive travels convinced him that bakeries also contribute to the fabric and vibrancy of communities. Much of his youth was spent in Norway and Germany, close to the Swiss border, where he was struck by the importance of the many bakeries thriving in those communities, each with its own distinctive fare and character. 

Maged hopes to recreate that effect in the Ottawa context, via both the quality and appeal of his products, and the welcoming atmosphere at The Orange Turtle as a hub for sociability and community life. In the short term, Maged has plans for some modest outdoor seating as the weather warms up, and down the road, he intends to install a small indoor counter and benches where clients can enjoy a pastry and a cup of fine coffee en routeto or from the market. He is enthusiastic about the advantages of his St. Patrick Street location, where there is one-hour free parking, along with local bus routes. “And it’s within walking and cycling distance of New Edinburgh,” he adds.  

Maged explains the significance of the bakery’s intriguing name: “The turtle was a logical choice. It’s a friendly, timeless, universal symbol. And I settled on the colour orange from the beginning, because it’s a cheerful and positive colour, and a contemporary one as well.” At this moment in 2022, cheerful, positive and friendly additions to our world are more than welcome!

While he is understandably reluctant to name a specific opening date, given the recent challenges of the pandemic and the recent downtown occupation, Maged hopes to launch The Orange Turtle by the end of April, operating initially on a farmers’ market schedule between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. “Maybe it’s apt that our logo is a turtle,” he says, reflecting on the numerous delays encountered in the fit-up of the premises. While the bakery’s website is still in development, you are welcome to call 613-562-2253 (BAKE) for the latest on the opening date. 

We wish Maged success in his new venture and look forward to the day when the Turtle emerges from its shell to greet the spring!  –JH

Tiny corner café a great meet-up spot

Spring has sprung at the Union Street Kitchen Café at 42 Crichton St.– just ask some of the loyal customers who, according to owner Christine Garand, have been like family.  Since the beginning of the pandemic two years ago, Union Street Kitchen Café has moved away from indoor ordering and eating to an outdoor-only model. This has led to an unexpected result – neighbours gathering and getting to know one another!   

Christine tells us that although the café’s outdoor space is limited to a few seats and benches, patrons now tend to mill around the outside of the location while they enjoy their drinks and treats. Folks are congregating in a way that they never did when they were inside. In fact, some of their biggest gatherings happen on Sundays after church services when customers socialize after collecting their coffee orders.

And Christine is in no rush to change this model. She and her team have been able to remain open for the duration of the pandemic (except for a few months at the beginning) because of the shift to outdoor pickup.  Her regulars really appreciate this new way of operating and she tells the New Edinburgh News that she is doing her part to make sure our most vulnerable remain safe.

And with the nicer weather just around the corner, this makes outdoor and physically-distant gathering even easier.  Patrons can now enjoy favourites that are back on the menu, such as their popular iced drinks or their lavender lemonade, homemade with an organic lavender syrup that they make in-house from scratch – just like everything else on their menu!  You can even get your order packed into a takeaway picnic box for convenient transport. And no need to worry about waste: all of the utensils and containers are compostable, including the coffee cups (though many regulars just bring their own mug for a fill up).

So if you are looking to get out of the house this spring and meet up with some of your neighbours, the Union Street Café has a bench waiting for you!

Union Street Café is located at 42 Crichton St. and can be found online at onunionstreet.ca/.

Their hours are: Mondays from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Tuesday to Fridays from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. and weekends from 9a.m. – 3 p.m. –TM  

Keep calm and eat scones

Ottawa restaurants and small businesses can perhaps be forgiven for lamenting that the prevailing local law recently has been Murphy’s Law: whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. 

Following two difficult years of dislocation and lost business caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, many in the downtown core were subjected to still more punishment during the three-week occupation by the so-called freedom convoy. Just as the relaxation of COVID restrictions offered the possibility of recovery, those hopes were dashed by another lengthy shutdown while protesters had free rein downtown.

Heather Matthew’s four SconeWitch outlets were among the many restaurants feeling the pain of this succession of calamities – not least the shop at 150 Elgin St., which was effectively marooned when Shopify abruptly departed the building at the start of the pandemic, and the lunch-hour crowd evaporated when federal offices shifted to a work-at-home model for employees. During the occupation, doors were closed altogether for the safety of SconeWitch employees.

But with characteristic resilience, Heather, her daughter Madeline, and the whole SconeWitch team have continued to do a brisk take-out business throughout the ordeal and introduced a popular home-delivery service for orders of frozen, ready-to-bake scones. In fact, the delivery service has been so popular that Heather has had requests for scone shipments to Toronto, New York City, and Chicago – clearly not an option, but a tribute to the stellar reputation of her legendary scones! 

It now seems there may be light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel. But eager as they are to welcome back customers for indoor dining, at press time in March, Heather and Madeline have opted for a gradual return to full service, bearing in mind the lingering presence of the virus and the need to minimize risk to both staff and clients. Heather thinks the picture should be clearer once travelers return from March Break, and when the effects of the end of mask mandates have been fully assessed. 

Step one of the ramp-up to full service will begin April 1, when SconeWitch customers can once again take a seat in the café to enjoy their purchases. Until then, meals will remain in a take-away format, and limited to the current scone and sandwich menu. “After that, we will gradually expand the menu and allow more relaxed access once things look a little better,” says Heather. 

When full indoor service resumes at SconeWitch, plans are afoot to introduce table service: a departure from the long-time cafeteria-style model. But this second step will be contingent on several critically important factors: COVID conditions in the community as spring unfolds; the pace at which business recovers after a long and painful slump; and the martialing of the financial and human resources required to restore normal operations. After two tumultuous years, Heather is understandably reluctant to name an exact date for these final steps, but she encourages patrons to check the sconewitch.ca site for timetable updates. 

Despite the lingering uncertainty about timing, Heather and her team look forward to launching the new table-service model, which is certain to appeal to many regular clients. Heather has high hopes that a clear separation of take-out from in-house dining will streamline service for all concerned. The aim is to minimize long waits in the queue, when, for example, a large group takes its time resolving the weighty questions of scone flavour or jam type for each guest, leaving those at the back of the line in hungry limbo.   

Based on her experience operating Domus Restaurant some years ago, Heather plans to steer clear of the competitive struggles that can occur between servers and kitchen staff over the allotment of tips. All gratuities will be fairly shared among all SconeWitch staff.

Some late-breaking news for scone lovers: SconeWitch’s menu has a recent addition! Date and fennel is shaping up to be a new scone favourite. To Heather’s amusement, one client who pretended to bristle at the store’s pressure to try this new item returned the very next day to purchase a package of six!

We wish Heather, Madeline and their team an early return to full operations, and smoother sailing in 2022. –JH

Epicuria under renovations April 17–May 8 

Beginning in late April, Epicuria will launch a major spring renovation project to overhaul their storefront at 357 St. Laurent Blvd. (at Hemlock). It’s been a little more than a decade since the shop moved to its present location following the Beechwood Fire of 2011, and Tracey Black and her team have found that they need some changes to better accommodate their current brisk business. 

They are cagey about precisely what the plans are but have shared some highlights in Epicuria’s weekly newsletter: “We will be bringing back our full-service pastry counter; expanding the freezer and grab-and-go fridges; and will be changing the layout to provide a better shopping experience.” NEN hopes to provide more details in a future edition.

Clients should take note that the shop will be closed from April 17–May 8 while work is underway. But renovation timetables can be notoriously unreliable, so look for updates on their website: epicuria.ca. The online shop will remain open throughout the renovation for both pick-up and delivery orders.

Here’s another exciting note for those with interest in the culinary world: Epicuria is now hiring new recruits for both its retail and its culinary teams. Top criteria for applicants are “genuine enthusiasm about food and people; high standards for their work and their workplace; and a love of working in a fast-paced environment.” Send resumés to team@epicuria.ca. –JH

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

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.

BBB Local Holiday Guide: Drinks

Seasonal drinks and festive bottles: so close you can taste it

By Randy Mar (This article appeared in the December 2021 edition of the New Edinburgh News)

Getting into the holiday spirit is thirsty work, but fortunately our main street, Beechwood Avenue, has a variety of options for festive drinks, cocktail mixes, bottle pairings, and non-alcoholic beverages this season.

Here are some highlights for your savouring pleasure or as gifts for others.

In the early stages of the pandemic, brothers Ross and Simon Fraser of Fraser Restaurant, Takeaway & Bottle Shop (7 Springfield Rd.) converted the private dining space previously used for the popular Table 40 venue and opened access to their curated wine collection to complement their burgeoning takeaway and prepared foods offerings.  

Today, the bottle shop is a key feature attracting knowledgeable and curious customers alike. As curator, Ross is particularly proud of the rapidly changing cellar of red, white, rosé, and sparkling wines assembled from renowned wine regions around the globe, including Italy, France, South America, United States, and of course, Canada. Many – if not most – are consignment wines not readily available at the LCBO.  

Ross highly recommends Suertes del Marqués 7 Fuentes, showcasing Tenerife’s volcanic soils and altitude, as well as lesser-known grape varietals. It is full-bodied, balanced, and refreshing and is very versatile with meats. It would pair wonderfully with Fraser’s traditional meat tourtière. 

With the festive season rapidly approaching, the bottle shop has a selection of bubblies such as cava, prosecco, and (naturally) champagne. For non-drinkers, Fraser also features locally crafted City Seltzers. Of note, alcohol purchased at the Fraser must be purchased with food.

Also from Ross, a word of thanks to clients: “After all the transformations Fraser has gone through over the past 20 months, we are incredibly grateful to still be here and able to rebuild. We can’t thank the community enough for their overwhelming support.” Fraser Restaurant, Takeaway & Bottle Shop is at 7 Springfield Rd. Contact 613-749-1444 or frasercafe.ca.

Local craft beer lovers may already be looking forward to the upcoming lineup of seasonal beers at Good Prospects Brewing Company (411 St Laurent Blvd.)! Open since late February, Good Prospects has weathered a pandemic start-up and is putting the finishing touches on a tasting room in time for the holidays.  

“We’ve been working hard to get our taproom open so we can spend more time getting to know our neighbours who have supported us from day one” said head brewer Duncan MacKay. “Who doesn’t want to get together with friends and family over a beer?” enthused Duncan with a smile. He has also been busy at the fermenters, readying batches of more winter-oriented ales and lagers such as dunkel (dark German lager) and another saison variety. He is also testing his first batch of sour beer. Find Good Prospects Brewing Co. at 411 St Laurent Blvd. Contact 613-746-7707 or goodprospects.ca.

While local shops offer a wide variety of options, our neighbourhood liquor store, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO, 10 Beechwood Ave.), has a listing of nearly 1,700 wines, spirits, seltzers, and beers within its 8,100 square-foot street-front location.  

The Holiday 2021 edition of the ever-popular LCBO Food & Drink magazine is now available and as its title suggests, features numerous recipes for easy-to-make, low-alcohol pitcher drinks and seasonal nightcaps, along with food pairings.  Readers will find an entire section – “Twists: Bottled Up” – devoted to fashioning numerous bottled mock- and cocktails for festive drinks or gifts.  

Store manager Marc Grondin invites neighbours to stop by to explore the more tha 300 holiday gift and festive sampler packs, and special seasonal offers available at the store or online. Local insiders know about both same-day, in-store and curbside pickup options at the rear of the building.  The LCBO is located 10 Beechwood Ave. Contact 613-741-5046 or lcbo.com.

Wondering where to go for no- or low-alcohol drinks, liquid treats, and mixers to add to your home bar or to enjoy while out for a stroll? Look no further than neighbourhood faves Red Door Provisions and Jacobsons Gourmet Concepts.

Both local purveyors offer a vast selection of seasonal choices. At Red Door, you will find spiced rosemary, eggnog, and honey thyme lattes; peppermint mocha and holiday blend from Pilot Coffee Roasters (medium roast batch brew); as well as beer and cider from such local and Ontario brewers as Dominion City, Revel, and Bellwoods Brewery. Jacobsons offers such speciality beverage items as Ceder’s, a non-alcoholic, distilled alternative gin; Gimber, a non-alcoholic, ginger concentrate with a bite; Silver Swallow luxury kombucha; and Hall’s Apple Market cider, a local seasonal favourite. 

Red Door Provisions is located at 117 Beechwood Ave. Contact 613-695-6804 or reddoorprovisions.com.

Also available at Jacobsons are a range of mixers, bitters, and cocktail toppers for any pouring occasion. Ottawa’s Split Tree Cocktail Co. holiday cranberry ginger cordial, Walter Gregor’s handcrafted, all-natural tonic from Scotland, and Bittermilk’s gingerbread old fashioned cocktail mixer, are all perfect for holiday entertaining. Find Jacobsons Gourmet Concepts at 103 Beechwood Avenue. Contact 613-746-6002 or jacobsons.ca)

NEN reminds readers to please enjoy the holiday season safely and responsibly and to arrange alternate means of transportation as required!

BBB Local Holiday Guide: Food

Look no further than Beechwood for holiday food bounty

by Jane Heintzman (This article appeared in the December 2021 edition of the New Edinburgh News)

Of all the months on the calendar, December is the most intensely food-focused of all: households are busily gearing up for family gatherings, parties (COVID-style) and other festivities to celebrate the holiday season. Adding intensity to the focus on food are the myriad cherished traditions which shape our holiday planning. 

Food options abound in our neighbourhood: there are eight high-quality food suppliers within the 2.7 km stretch of Beechwood/Hemlock from St. Patrick Street to St. Laurent Boulevard. Their offerings range from cooking and baking essentials to prepared fresh and frozen meals, sweet and savoury baking, and fully-cooked Christmas dinners. 

For 31 years, Epicuria has been a go-to gourmet food hub in our community, specializing in prepared take-out foods and catering. Current owner Tracey Black still feels the pandemic’s impact on her business, but has pulled out all the stops to stock the store with specialties for the holiday season. 

Epicuria’s December menus feature four tasty choices each week, including traditional favourites such as turkey breast with all the trimmings. The freezers are fully stocked with prepared meals and side dishes, including savoury pies such as tourtière and chicken pot pie—perfect for informal meals. Order online for pick-up or delivery. 

Epicuria’s pastry chef Kristie Fellows has gone all out for the holidays: her tempting creations range from mincemeat tarts to vanilla mocha Bûche de Noël, decorated gingerbread, shortbreads, fruit cake, plum pudding and more. ‘Tis the season to savour the bounty!

If a fuss-free Christmas dinner is on your wish-list, Epicuria offers a fulsome feast featuring sage butter-basted turkey breast and leg, artisanal stuffing, cranberry sauce with pan gravy, and seasonal side dishes. But supplies are limited, so advance orders are essential! 

Orders can be placed online, by phone, or by visiting the store (the online shop will closed from Dec. 19-Jan. 4). Epicuria is located at 357 St. Laurent Blvd. Contact 613-745-7356 or epicuria.ca.

Bread & Roses Bakery’s long history dates back to 1988 when it set up shop in the heart of Beechwood Avenue. Current owner Chris Green took over in 2008, and made the move to larger premises on St. Laurent Boulevard following the 2011 Beechwood Fire.

Neighbourhood bakeries are traditionally the hub of all things sweet and reminiscent of childhood—never more so than at Christmas. Bread & Roses fills the bill with holiday treats such as yule logs, colourfully decorated cookies, Santa’s Whiskers, mincemeat pies, rum balls, and more. 

Chris notes many of Bread & Roses’ regular menu items are also naturals for holiday gatherings or cozy afternoons by the fire. Choose from yummy tea loaves such as carrot apple and banana, or sinful squares like mocha brownies and Nanaimo bars. 

Complementing the sweet offerings are the bakery’s specialty breads such as sourdough baguette, beautiful braided challah loaves and focaccia. And for impromptu, easy-prep suppers, try their tasty savoury pies such as tourtières, chicken curry pie or sweet potato veggie pie.

Chris’s simple message for the holidays: “I wish everyone kindness to each other, and health and happiness in the year ahead.” Bread & Roses Bakery is at 323 St. Laurent Blvd. Contact 613-745-2087 or breadandrosesbakery.ca.

Having an old-fashioned butcher shop in the heart of Beechwood Village is near the top of the list of what makes this community great. “Just like that, we blink and it’s been six amazing years and counting,” says Andrew Muckleston, reflecting on the swift passage of time since Muckleston and Brockwell launched at 127 Beechwood Ave. 

The store is gearing up for a brisk business in Christmas turkeys in the weeks ahead. Andrew’s advice: “Definitely pre-order your turkey if you want one for the holidays; if you can pick it up ahead of the rush, we can vacuum seal it for you. Dec. 23rd is our last pick-up day, and usually the busiest.”

If turkey is not on your menu, Muckleston and Brockwell is well stocked with other options, notably fine cuts of beef, poultry (whole chickens and parts), and pork specialties such as double-smoked bacon for holiday breakfasts. 

Andrew warns that pre-ordering is no hundred per cent guarantee of success: “We work with small farms, and sometimes things happen: sizing issues, delays and mix-ups out of our control. But we’d never leave a customer in the lurch,” he tells NEN. “We’ll go above and beyond to find a suitable replacement item, if not better. That being said, the more notice we have, the more time we have to work out any kinks we encounter!”

Muckleston and Brockwell is extending its hours of operation over the holidays to handle the rush: Dec. 20, 11:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Dec. 21, 11:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Dec. 22, 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.; and Dec. 23, 10:00 a.m. -6:00 p.m. 

However busy it may get, Andrew is characteristically optimistic: “In the end, everyone is fed and happy (and tired!!).” Find Muckleston and Brockwell Butchers at 127 Beechwood Ave. Contact 613-745-2244 or mucklestonandbrockwell.com.

The Jacobsons tradition as a hub for local foodies is now at 15 years and counting. Founder Susan Jacobson’s daughter Dominique now runs the show at 103 Beechwood Ave., maintaining its gourmet traditions—not least, an abundance of specialties for the upcoming holiday season. 

Marketing manager Lauren Watson is enthusiastic about the specialty Christmas cheeses topping the list of holiday highlights. The combination of pandemic-related supply chain interruptions and the impact of Brexit on the free flow of British cheese, have led to some uncertainties about this year’s line-up. But fingers are crossed that the traditional favourite Vacherin Mont d’Or will be available for the holidays, along with popular picks such as Tania, Colston Bassett Stilton, and Brie de Meaux (a must for any cheeseboard, in Lauren’s view!)

Sweet lovers will find such goodies as traditional mincemeat pies, Nat’s Bakery rum balls, Christmas stollen, and much more. And no seasonal feast is complete without chocolates: Jacobsons’ selection ranges from Anna Stubbe chocolate bars (a Jacobsons exclusive) to boxed chocolates from Belgium, Italy and the United Kingdom.

For holiday entertaining, the store offers cheese, charcuterie and patisserie platters for local delivery or pick-up. And as always, Jacobsons’ freezers are fully stocked with frozen prepared meals and savoury pies from such fine suppliers as the Village Kitchen and Dream Come True Kitchen. 

Jacobsons welcomes both online and phone orders, as well as in-person orders when you drop into the store. Jacobsons is located at 103 Beechwood Ave. Contact 613-746-6002; jacobsons.ca.

The Passmore/Phillips family owns and operates Nature’s Buzz, Beechwood Village’s long-running supplier of all things organic. As per its holiday tradition, the store has stocked up on fresh, organic turkey. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to radically downsized holiday gatherings, so whole turkeys (which dominate the dinner table and challenge the carver) are no longer in high demand. Instead, Nature’s Buzz has ordered boneless, skinless turkey breasts, as well as breasts and legs with skin-on and bone-in, from an organic supplier in Charlevoix, Que. Co-owner/operator Nancy Phillips notes that pre-orders of turkey are not essential, but you’re welcome to call the store to place an advance order (no deposit required).

Another holiday highlight at Nature’s Buzz is Harmony Organic Eggnog, an incomparably delicious seasonal offering from Harmony Organic Dairy in Kincardine, Ont. (Fun fact: Harmony owners, the Andres family, were the very first organic dairy farmers in Canada). Find Nature’s Buzz at 55 Beechwood Ave. Contact 613-842-0280; naturesbuzz.ca) 

When COVID restrictions brought an abrupt end to the parties and large gatherings that were the raison d’être of Table 40, Ross Fraser and his team swiftly pivoted to set up Fraser Takeaway and Bottle Shop, an outlet for gourmet take-away meals and accompanying libations. 

“Our goal was to provide our guests with the Fraser food they know and love in the comfort of their own homes,” explains general manager Thessaly Lloyd. The shop operates primarily online, but Thessaly adds, “we also love it when people pop in to browse the wine selection or pick up some frozen goodies!” Opening hours are Thursday through Saturday, 4:15 p.m.-6:15 p.m.

The store currently offers both prepared foods such as lasagna, quiche, moussaka and many soups, as well as weekly meal kits for two and easy-prep dinners which are simple to reheat and serve. The highlight in December is a takeaway Christmas dinner with ample fare for a gathering of four people. (Visit the online shop for orders and details on the weekly menu.) Thessaly’s favourite on the holiday menu is Duck Tourtière: “It’s a must try! It’s loaded with duck, pork, fragrant spices and orange, wrapped in a buttery crust—full of festive flavours!” Find Fraser Takeaway & Bottle Shop at 7 Springfield Rd. Contact 613-749-1444 or frasercafe.ca.

“We’re proud of this year’s extensive selection of delicious foods for guests and family gatherings over the holidays,” Metro Beechwood manager Shawn Steinburg tells NEN.  He takes special pride in Metro’s many options for fuss-free entertaining, ranging from ready-made, pre-cut cheese and charcuterie platters, to artisanal pizzas, prepared savoury meals, fresh fruit and veggie platters. 

If a roast is on your menu, Metro’s meat department has a range of choices from fresh or frozen turkey to high-quality cuts of beef, lamb, pork, ham and chicken. And not to be forgotten is Metro’s large and fully-stocked fresh produce department, supplying the greens, root vegetables and fresh fruit to complement your protein of choice. 

Thoughts inevitably turn to sweet baked goods in the holiday season. “Our bakery has a vast selection of mouth-watering breads, buns, cookies, croissants and much more, baked right here in the store,” Shawn assures, “and don’t forget our fresh cakes, pies and all your favourite holiday desserts!” 

“From-scratch” cooks can load up in Metro’s 11 aisles of grocery items, packed with all the essentials for holiday cooking and baking, along with seasonal “finishing touches” such as cranberry sauce, gravies, stuffing and eggnog. 

Shawn’s final reminder: “Check out our Metro Entertainment Booklet in store or online, where you can pre-order ready-made platters when entertaining over the holiday season.” Metro Beechwood is at 50 Beechwood Ave. Contact 613-744-6676 or metro.ca.

Burgh Business Briefs (December 2021)

By Christina Leadlay (This article originally appeared in the December 2021 edition of the New Edinburgh News)

Coffee showroom opens in old bank

After almost five years sitting vacant, the former Bank of Montreal location at 14 Beechwood Ave. has the lights back on and soon will have the doors open, thanks to the arrival of Advanced Coffee Solutions, set to open on Dec. 1.

But rest assured that this is not just another coffee shop!

Advanced Coffee Solutions is a showroom for high-quality coffee equipment, supplying coffee-related products to businesses and directly to consumers, according to managing director Nikhil Rath, who founded the company with his wife Karawan Ahmed.

“We were naturally attracted to this site, as we are long-time residents of the neighbourhood and we have been operating our business out of the offices upstairs at 6 Beechwood Ave.” Nikhil explains in an email to the New Edinburgh News.

“[The site] had many challenges, as it had been purpose designed for the bank,” he said. “We are very happy to see the space open again.” 

Advanced Coffee Solutions is a new division of Acacia Tree Farms, a four-year-old business focussed on sourcing the best green coffee beans directly from farmers in Ethiopia’s Harar region. Nikhil notes: “the Harar bean is one of the storied coffee beans in the world, and, as yet underrepresented in North America,” and that he and Karawan looks forward to introducing it to coffee lovers. 

Also behind Advanced Coffee Solutions is the Ottawa-based Happy Goat Coffee chain and leading coffee equipment companies (such as BUNN, Nuvo Simonelli, San Remo and others) to offer “advanced coffee solutions” – products and machines – to both consumers and businesses, explains Nikhil. Until now, Acacia Tree Farms had been importing, roasting and processing the coffee beans for other businesses. But with Advanced Coffee Solutions, they will be offering their products directly to consumers.

In addition to selling coffee equipment (which includes servicing, installation and training), Advanced Coffee Solutions will also sell hot brewed coffee, cold brew nitrogen coffee and fresh roasted whole beans, all on a “pick up and go” basis, Nikhil tells NEN. He notes they are developing a smartphone app which will allow clients to track and trace their coffee “all the way back to the farmer who harvested it and to tip your farmer or contribute to a sustainable development goal in the region supporting various projects.” Customers will also be able to order and pay through a forthcoming app. 

For Nikhil, running a business on Beechwood Avenue is a return home. Born and raised in New Edinburgh, he studied business at Algonquin College. After many years of working and living across the globe (including in California, Dubai, and Malaysia), Nikhil and Karawan returned to Canada to set up a cold-brew coffee facility in Toronto. They later moved to Ottawa to be closer to family.

Advanced Coffee Solutions is located at 14 Beechwood Ave. Contact them at 613-656-7362 or advancedcoffeesolutions.com.

Dhruvees to open Dec. 9

Owner Donald Wingell and his team have been working around the clock at 18 Beechwood Ave., preparing to open New Edinburgh’s newest restaurant, Dhruvees, located in the former Jasper restaurant site.

Donald confirmed to New Edinburgh News in late November that Dhruvees, featuring spice-laden dishes from countries in and around the Indian sub-continent, aims to open around Dec. 9.

NEN got a sneak peek at the menu, which looks delicious. Indian cuisine staples including samosas, pakoras, biryanis and tandoori items (including seafood) will be available. But the item which will likely make Dhruvees stand out is the Sri Lankan lamprais which are described on the menu as rice, vegetables and protein “placed inside a banana leaf to create a parcel […] baked in the oven” and served with accompaniments including hard-boiled egg, pickles, and vegetable curry.

Is your mouth watering yet?

NEN looks forward to providing a fuller profile of Dhruvees and its team in our next edition. But with the colder weather settling in this month, it is exciting to have a new restaurant nearby offering spicy dishes to keep hungry Burgh residents warm!

Dhruvees will be open for dine-in, take-out and delivery at 18 Beechwood Ave. Call 613-744 7888 or find them online at dhruvees.com/media. Also follow them on your social media of choice (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok). 

Farewell to Le Suq

After it celebrated one year in business at 141 Beechwood Ave. this past fall, Le Suq has closed its doors. The Levantine food store is still running its Hintonburg location at 1175 Wellington St. W. The last reference to the Beechwood location was on their Facebook page on Sept. 29. Owner Donald Batal opened the Beechwood location (where Jacobsons used to be), back on Sept. 1, 2020. In its short life, Le Suq has tried out a couple of locations in Ottawa, including one on Preston Street, also now closed. Here’s hoping they have found their forever home in Hintonburg! Donald is also involved in Hushh Burgers, a “ghost kitchen” (delivery only) last seen operating at the former Tim Hortons at 360 St. Patrick St. NEN reached out to Donald, but was unable to get a comment about Le Suq’s closure. At press time, 141 Beechwood Ave. site is available for rent.