There are a lot of great entrepreneurs in Halifax and as I start the new year I wanted to take a look at a few that I believe are doing a great job in creating unique products and experiences to enhance life in the city. In order to create a healthy economy in this city we need more businesses like these ones to create jobs, enhance life, create destinations and bring more money into the economy. All of these businesses are located in walkable neighbourhoods and contribute to the streets of the city. They are destinations in our communities, not industrial parks but places where people live, work and play.
Small businesses go a long way to achieve these goals but Halifax also needs to have a healthy mix of big businesses, small local businesses and a business environment that supports the ideas of people. Without programs to support entrepreneurs and small businesses many great ideas fail before they can even take off. In the meantime lets celebrate some great small businesses in Halifax/Dartmouth.
A coffee shop to start my list. Definitely! This is my favourite in the city and I go there whenever I have the chance. When I worked down the road, 3 times a day. True story! This little gem opened up on Gottingen Street a few years ago and I loved it since day one. It is now in its second set of owners who have taken things to the next level, making it a local destination to not only go for a coffee and some good food but pints, art shows and trivia night on Thursdays.
Besides having a great atmosphere featuring local art, they have some of the best staff I have ever met. They make sure to ask you about your day and really care about the answer, remember your drinks and make the experience wonderful every time you enter. Plus they have the best Barista in the city, Danielle, check out the Coast review. I can’t say enough good things about this place, they have created jobs, a local venue in the community and really care about their product and customers.
Saint Lou’s Gentlemans Barbershop
Saint Lou’s is the place to go if you want a great haircut. They focus on mens cuts but they have the skills to fresh cuts for the ladies as well. Rob, the owner, opened the shop after working in salons in Halifax and Australia, and upon coming home to Nova Scotia decided to open up a classic barbershop that serves up some of the best mens cuts in the city. Along with all of the products to keep your hair looking great. It is a relaxed atmosphere with classic barbershop chairs, art prints of local bands and a great soundtrack that comes from the music tastes of the barbers at the shop. Most of whom are involved in the local music scene. Rob started a movement in Halifax with lots of shops opening up. They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery and many have tried but none quite capture the genuine sense of community present at Saint Lou’s.
Two if By Sea
Downtown Dartmouth has been going through a bit of a resurgence over the last number of years and one place in the area seems to have been at the forefront of this change. I love coffee shops and Two if By Sea meets all of the requirements of a great shop. Fantastic coffee, they also roast their own coffee through Anchored Coffee, a good atmosphere, friendly staff and great food to go along with that delicious coffee. They may even be better know from the croissants that they serve and they do not disappoint, delicious and full of buttery goodness. One of the most important things that come along with small local businesses is employment in the area and Two if By Sea employs a number of people and it keeps growing with the added businesses that have come from this great Dartmouth cafe.
New Scotland Yard Emporium
The New Scotland Yard Emporium combines pretty much everything I love, coffee, hair cuts and music. Joel Plaskett has been operating a recording studio in the back of the building for sometime and teamed up with three local entrepreneurs to open up a hot spot Downtown Dartmouth. The spot is shared by Taz Records, Elk’s Haircutting and Honey and Butter (providing some great coffee). This area is in full growth mode and this spot provides three great services to serve the growing market. With few places to buy vinyl and get a good haircut in this part of the city the shared space has allowed three great businesses to enter the market, sharing costs, and providing the opportunity for growth in the market. Look out for Downtown Dartmouth, it is soon to become a destination for residents of Halifax and tourists alike.