Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Grand Opening!!!

We officially opened our doors on Thursday!!! It was a very hectic and full day on Wednesday finishing off the inside and a busy night making cinnamon buns, muffins and cookies but we did it. We don't have our official sign up yet but we do have a sign at the road with our name and what we serve. We were able to get a "sandwich board" sign made up. Our sign should be ready in a couple days. We are really looking forward to it because the guy that is working on it is very talented and Ted got a sneak peak and he says it looks fantastic.

We have had great reviews from people that have come in regarding our shop, coffee, baked goods etc. We have had many repeat customers. Word of mouth has also been great for us. People tell all the people at the B&B's and then they come check us out. We have also had great response from the locals as well. In the last 5 days or so we've sold almost 100 smoothies. These are a hot item....

Here is a picture of our wonderful espresso machine

We are really happy that we spent the money on this machine. Our specialty drinks are more popular than drip coffee. Originally we were contimplating a good residential machine but decided that we would go with the trouble-free way. We do not regret this decision one bit!! Our coffee is roasted in St. John's using environmentally friendly equipment and is Fairtrade Organic (the only way to go in our minds). We have had a lot of people happy that we sell it too.

The coffee is excellent tasting too. Many have commented on it being the best they have had on the island. We are happy to hear this because we tried to cater to all tastes when picking our blend and the proper grind.

After you see the picture of Ted's cinnamon rolls some of you might just jump on a plane to try one. They are simply to die for!!

These have been a hot item! They are really good just warmed a bit. Always a fresh batch if you feel the urge to stop in for a visit.

The muffins and cookies are a hit. We have one muffin that I make that we call the hiker's muffin. It has carrot, pineapple bits, oatmeal, coconut and a little cream cheese inside.

Our cookies are a big hit especially with the local kids. We must make sure that we have chocolate chip cookies on hand at all times or we might have some disappointed faces.

Our Shop

We were able to carefully place our merchandise so we could have two tables inside. We are very happy we made room for the tables because they are used on a regular basis. The table on the deck by far is the most popular. The sun streams in where the one table is till about mid afternoon so it makes it a nice spot to sit.

You can already start to see spaces on the walls where some of our artwork has sold. We have already had to contact three of our artists begging for more. We should have our walls back to life by Thursday.

We tried to find unique Newfoundland art and craft. We mainly deal with smaller suppliers in order to find one of a kind items.

Like I said earlier, it is a small space but we feel that we have made it work for us. People like the quaint feel and it means we can keep an eye on things easier.
We have started to figure out the routines... when there are busy times and slow times. We have found we have had a great response at night. People take a drive out to the lighthouse and want somewhere to stop on the way back. We have stayed open till 10:30 some nights. It makes for long days but its worth it.

The Fish, Fun and Folk Festival

This festival is on this week. It brings a lot of people to Twillingate. They are doing something quite exciting this year. They have floated a small house around from Durrell (travelling right by our harbour in Crow Head) and will do a house pull tomorrow. This hasn't happened in years and probably won't happen again for a while. We got some pictures of the house being pulled. This is our best shot.

More updates to follow when we get our sign up. Hopefully by then we will have started serving soups too....yumm....

Oh, I almost forgot about the bread recipe. I am having trouble adding the link so I will try on my next update. My eyes are getting really sleepy anyway and I must go help Ted with the closing up part. He let me have a few minutes to update on our exciting news. Thanks for all your support and interest in this dream of ours. Love to you all.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Cheers to Iris

Tribute to our Girl

With sadness we tell you that Iris was put to rest on Monday. She was in her 17th year after living a wonderful, adventurous life. We believe she had a stroke after slowly going down hill in the last month. Even though we feared she might be enjoying her last days, finality is never easy. We were with her when she passed on very peacefully. She was out walking with us just two days before she died, still with a slight bounce in her step and a nose that never aged.

Even though Iris only shared a couple years with us, we became very attached to her. She came to work with us on a regular basis when we were surveying in Ontario and even went for bike rides and runs with us until WE decided that it was too much for her. She wouldn't give up no matter the circumstances.

For a mature dog she adapted very well to Crosbie becoming part of the family. After the transition period, she would even let him share her bed and often lie in the sun with him.

We buried Iris on the hill across the road. On her little walkabouts through the day and night she would cross the road carefully and trip around the hillside. One last memory we have is her tripping up the road with her ears blowing in the wind. As the cars drove by they would smile and point at Iris who would often sit at the end of the driveway and watch the cars go by. She took well to being a Newfoundland dog. She will be greatly missed by us. We are left with wonderful memories though that will live on.

Finally an Update!

I must apologize for not updating my blog. I must say though, there aren't enough hours in the day. Ok, where do I start?? I think the last blog was when we were plastering away. Well, our plastering days are long gone (hopefully for a while).

After finishing all the plastering we were able to start the fun stuff...the stuff where you see results anyway. We painted the main area of the store a very light green and the kitchen an orange. We were very happy with the way it all turned out.

The interior of the building is basically finished, it is all trimmed and plumbed and most of the kitchen is finished. There are little things to finish inside the kitchen but they can be done anytime (at this stage maybe in the fall). Here are a few pics of our new "pad"

We went down to the wharf in Crow Head and the beach in Wild Cove and found ourselves some nice driftwood. We thought we would give our deck a "dock" feel. It was also neat to be able to use some of the props that we had at the marina for our store. Our neighbour Nelson really liked the anchor and told us to chain it down or it might disappear.

We were also lucky to find an old lobster trap under the wharf. We had been looking for one for a while. They are hard to come by unless you know someone.

Here is a view from walking in the door. We are going to be starting to bring in our inventory tomorrow. This is a very important part. The way we display our artwork has to be effective and eye catching. We were able to get great lights at Ikea while we were in Ontario. They will accent the walls where some of our artwork will hang. The space is small so it should be interesting.

Here is a view from when you come to order a coffee or cookie from us. Again, its a cozy space but we feel that we have used the space efficiently. We got our display case on kiiji used. We were lucky to find it because you couldn't make it for what we bought it for.

Here is the view of the kitchen coming in the "employees" door. The counter top we made we were using in our house and the stove as well (which we brought from Ontario). We are feeling quite disoriented now while making our meals because we have a little stove with an oven that burns most things and no counter space. We are managing though.

You will notice the floor is not a bland concrete colour anymore. This was quite an ordeal for us. We had to scrub the floors about 5 times to get all the plaster off (we would have had to do this anyway). The stain we put on the floor was supposed to dry in 1-2 hours. Well, the dampness in the air and the concrete didn't help our situation. We had to wait about 12 hours inbetween coats and a few days after the sealer coat.

We worked on finishing the bathroom and finishing off outside jobs since we couldn't walk on the floor for a while.

This washroom is now completely finished with all the fixtures. I haven't taken a picture of the finished product yet though so this shot will have to do.

We had to meet specific accessibility requirements to accommodate the handicap.

Fresh Bread....Finally!!

We were on our way home from our trip to St. John's and we stopped in to see some of the artwork of a potential supplier. We arrived at around 8pm and by the time we looked at her work and purchased some of it it was getting late. We connected well with this couple by the time we left. We headed out for home with approx. 6 hours of driving ahead of us to get home. Not 5 minutes down the road we hit a nasty pothole that did quite a bit of damage. We were carrying a big load (including a trailer load). The pothole bend our back rim and caused a flat. The front rim was also damaged but the tire was still sealed. The rims are aluminum and so cannot be bent out like steel rims (which is what we did the last pothole we hit on the way to Newfoundland). At this moment we got a call from Keli-ann letting us know that we could stay over if we wanted. Perfect timing for us since we couldn't make the trip on a spare tire. We stayed the night and went back into St. John's the next morning to get a steel rim to replace the aluminum one.

While we were visiting our new friends, I was excited to hear about their experience making artisan bread in just 5 minutes a day. I decided that this is what I wanted to do. My frustration with the bread selection here motivated me to give it a try. I bought all kinds of different flours at the bulk barn and now I am making fresh bread. It takes me about 5 minutes to make the dough and the dough is good for four loaves of bread. You just rip off a chunk and bake it and put the rest in the fridge until the next day when I rip off another piece and bake another fresh loaf. Its is so easy and fast. If anyone feels inspired let me know and I can give you the recipe. I change the recipe with different flours and grains each time so the loaves are always a bit different. Here is a picture to wet your appetite.

I will definitely be updating my blog again really soon. This is the fun stage when it all comes together. An empty room can suddenly come to life.. I will also have a better picture of our lovely faema espresso machine.

So, hope you enjoyed the tour. More details to come.