HALIFAX ReTALES: Food culture grows in Dartmouth

North-end Dartmouth is about to get a little tastier.

Passers-by may have noticed a new garage door and storefronts at 258 Wyse Rd. Early next month it will host Ori Foods Co.

“Ori started as Ori Chocolate Co., a bean-to-bar chocolate making project years ago in Alderney Market, with ori representing the direct origin of cocoa beans. We kept the name because we continue the same commitment to researching and showcasing quality local ingredients,” says co-owner Zoë Bartel, who opens Ori with Lachlan Culjak.

“We have both worked for years in the restaurant industry locally and overseas, myself as a pastry chef and Lachlan as a chef. We’ve both always wanted to open something back home in Nova Scotia so when we came across this place on Wyse Road last summer it ticked all the boxes we were looking for and we decided to go .

Culjak even made a stint at Noma in Copenhagen, often cited as one of the best restaurants in the world.

In Dartmouth, the menu at Ori will be varied.

“During the day, we will offer you a selection of pastries, simple lunch dishes, wine, beer and coffee,” Bartel said.

“We also hope to launch a dinner series soon, featuring eclectic menus that draw inspiration from our culinary backgrounds everywhere and the foods and drinks we love.

“Our menu will change often, so no guarantees on signature items, but right now we’re quite fond of the key lime pie, cream puffs and creme brulee cookies.”

The Wyse Road location is also ideal for business.

“We love the area and the community,” Bartel said.

“North Dartmouth has a great and growing food culture that we are excited to be a part of. I also have family just down the street from the space, so it felt like such a natural place to open. Lots of light and space out front for a future patio were bonuses.

Bart is right. North Dartmouth has slowly changed over the past few years with the addition of international grocers, as well as Blue Harbor Cheese Shop, Vessel Meats and Bagel Montreal Style.

Here are other retail events:

  • Union Foodmart on Wyse Road expands to the Halifax side and will open at 201 Chain Lake Dr.
  • Mary Brown’s will open in the independent Bedford Commons location that was originally built as Payless. Pennington moved two doors down before moving this summer to a permanent home next to Bulk Barn. Rumor has it that the old Pennington space will become a HomeSense, while the Walmart is about to expand.
  • At the other end of Bedford, commercial space is all let on Hogan Court. It will include IHOP, MVP Barbers, Oxford Learning, PZZA.co, Park West Physiotherapy, Gentle Touch Spa, Southgate Dentistry, A&W, Superstore and Esso. This week, a Popeyes chicken restaurant is opening.
  • Side Hustle Snack Bar is in the final stages of opening its own spot on Portland Street in downtown Dartmouth.

Arthur Gaudreau is a retail enthusiast and publisher of a blog on the whereabouts of retail.

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