Cuisine Enrichment Workshops

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Unravel the mysteries of fine food while exploring the world of colour!

Contact us if you are interested in our Kitchen Decor Painting & Cuisine Enrichment Workshops.

Watch this spot for more information!!

A Good Sign

 

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The sun comes up. It is a good sign: a new day, a new beginning.

I love what is solid, tried and true but I also love new beginnings! I have to remind myself to look over my shoulder and see where I have been because I am always excited about new challenges and opportunities.

For a long time I have been wanting to add to our selection of kitchen articles and gifts.  But as I pondered our commitment to the concept of “The Handmade Kitchen” I wondered how we could do both.  I love creating things but my responsibilities for keeping the shelves at The Pantry stocked with goodies from all over the world limit my time for creative endeavors. Yet……

My friend Charmaine Stulp is my hair stylist. She has been making people feel beautiful about themselves for a long time. Yet… she, too, was yearning to explore her creative side further. Charmaine is my type of girl! She is happier in a lumber yard or home repair center than in a clothing store…unless it is a thrift shop.  So it wasn’t surprising when she announced a new business venture she was starting with another friend. Both of them are hair stylists, hence the name of their new business: Scissors to Saws.

One morning…the time for new beginnings…an idea came to me.  By partnering with local artisans, I could honour our commitment to “The Handmade Kitchen” and I could encourage creativity right here in Niagara. So if you have been by the store lately, you will have noticed new handcrafted and hand-painted gifts appearing on our shelves. The signs are the work of my friend Charmaine.  We will be reaching out to other local artisans but today I would like to introduce Charmaine and let you see some of her beautiful work.  You will be able to buy her signs off the shelf here at The Pantry, commission her to make you a personalized sign or attend one of her very fun workshops.

Our first line of signs is “bon appetit”. It doesn’t matter what your language is, everyone has an expression that means “Enjoy your Food!” The line of signs will also enable you to honour the mothers in your life with personalized messages like:

  • Everything Tastes Better at Grandma’s (or Oma’s or Nana’s or Nagymama…)
  • Mom’s Kitchen: Satisfied Tummies Since (insert the year she became a mom)

We have some great other new ideas that will be coming and we also hope to offer kits that will enable you to create at home. We will keep you posted!

Read more about “The Handmade Kitchen” Here.

Connect with “Scissors to Saws” Here.

 

Welland: A Special Place to Call Home

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If you ask Naomie Cesar how she ended up in Welland, she will tell you it was because she ran out of money. If you ask her why she stayed in Welland, she will tell you it was because of the people. After leaving Haiti Naomie lived in Miami for 7 years.  In 2008, she left a warm Miami and was welcomed by frigid January temperatures when she arrived in Fort Erie. She had finally made it to Canada but she had only $50 dollars in her pocket.  No where near enough money to get to her intended destination, Montreal.  Just enough to get a ride to Welland.  Naomie will also tell you about all the people in Welland who helped her finish her education to finalize her residency requirements. She will tell you about Mary, her Welsh adoptive Mom, who continues to help Naomie strive for new dreams. Naomie can’t stop talking about what a special place Welland is.

Eventually Naomie was able to afford a trip to Montreal but it didn’t take her long to realize that it wasn’t the place she wanted to raise her children. A friend suggested she check out Toronto but by then there was no place like Welland in Naomie’s heart. It was home. The people of Welland had helped her when she needed help desperately and now it was her dream to give back to the community that had given so much to her.

DSCF9422In the past few years, Naomie has helped others who are new to Canada.  Besides being a RPN at the Niagara Falls hospital she volunteers with Niagara Victim Support Services. She also travels to people’s homes to give foot care.  That’s how she started providing  difficult to find hair products her clients are always looking for.  A dream to open a shop offering imported hair & beauty supplies as well as Caribbean foods started to form in her mind.  Welland’s Heritage Council provided training through their Women’s Entrepreneurship Development Programme that helps immigrant women reach their dreams.  That is how I met Naomie when the programme asked me to provide mentorship to her.  Although we serve different ethnic communities, our product lines present  the same challenge of finding and providing hard to source items people are seeking.  Like Naomie, we also started our business from the ground up.  It was a good fit immediately.

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I have been impressed with Naomie’s strong work ethic, her caring heart and her amazing courage.  We are fortunate to have her call Welland home.  Even more we are fortunate that she is helping to revitalize Downtown Welland and contributing to the wonderful diversity that makes Welland the special city it is.

Join her May 13 to celebrate the opening of her dream store:  CaribAfrican Specialty Shop.  You will find it near the Tribune offices at 234 East Main St.

Movember

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After 35 years this luxurious mustache has come off for Movember. Hopefully our customers will recognize John without his trademark “stache”!  If you wish to contribute to his fundraising you can find him on the Movember Canada website under “johneisenwelland”.