Vegan eatery to offer locally sourced menu

By Bill Power, Chronicle Herald July 23, 2013

Halifax’s Diandra Phipps and Cory Urquhart are about to take the wraps off their dream restaurant called enVie — A Vegan Kitchen in the city’s north end.

The couple, known for their sales of to-go vegetarian and gluten-free meals at Alderney Landing Market in Dartmouth and Local Source Market in Halifax, have completed renovations at 5775 Charles St. and are awaiting some final inspections before officially opening for business.

“We hope to begin with a soft opening for family and friends,” Phipps said Monday.

The restaurant at the corner of Charles and Agricola streets provides about 850 square feet of operating space and seating for about 35 people.

The business includes a licensed lounge, which Phipps said is unusual for a restaurant of this size in Canada but very much the norm in Europe.

“Our space includes a very small bar, and we will have some local craft beers and wines available,” Phipps said.

“We believe people stopping by for a brew will be encouraged to try the vegan dining experience when they see the dishes going by.”

Phipps is originally from Truro, while Urquhart hails from Lantz and played professional hockey for several years in Europe.

The married couple trained in the art of vegetarian cooking while living overseas and have big plans for their little space, including an emphasis on locally sourced foods.

“We’ll be constantly changing the menu like we do with our to-go dishes so people can learn about the wonderful diversity of things you can eat as a vegetarian,” Phipps said.

Due to the demands of operating out of their new digs, the business will offer to-go dishes only from the restaurant in future.

Phipps said they hope to officially open for business before the weekend and will try their best to alert people when the kitchen is approved for commercial use.

She said enVie will offer vegan cooking classes in the winter and will open an outdoor patio next summer.

There are at least two other locally sourced food events happening in the area this weekend.

Home Grown Organic Foods is officially opening its renovated space at 2310 Gottingen St. on Saturday afternoon, at the previous location of Liswell’s Bakery, which dates back to the 1860s.

Home Grown Organic Foods was established in 1999 and is devoted to supporting local farmers, organic agriculture and the local food movement.

“We are your friendly alternative to conglomerate, profit-driven supermarkets and look forward to providing healthy food to the Gottingen and north-end community,” owner Geordie Ouchterlony said in an announcement Monday.

Locally sourced food is also a theme of the Pork in the Park promotion on Saturday, between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Hydrostone Park on Kaye Street. It is a promotion of Nova Scotia premium pork organized by Highland Drive Storehouse and Pork Nova Scotia.

“Our pigs are raised humanely, safely and are free of hormones and antibiotics,” said an announcement from organizers.


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