Pandaopossum Creativecreations 
Clarks Harbour
Nature of business: “Creating digital artwork such as character design, business logos, tattoo design and traditional artwork such as sculptures, drawings and paintings.”
Partner: Tierney Greenwood
I don’t know why Greenwood’s logo (above) spells Opossum without the “O” that’s in the registered name.

To Go Fast Fresh Food
Middle Sackville
Nature of business: “Healthy food served fast.”
The business is registered by Supple Fresh Food Incorporated, which was registered in 2015 by Jeffrey Supple. On his Facebook page, Supple describes himself as the operations manager at Pete’s Fine Foods and an owner of Pete’s ToGoGo. I’m guessing he struck out on his own after Pete’s was bought by Sobeys. No business location is noted.

This golf club cover costs $72

Dormie Golf Workshop, Inc.
Directors: Jeff and Todd Bishop
Dormie has switched from a partnership to a limited liability corporation. The Bishop brothers are PGA members and golf instructors who make “really cool covers” that go on golf clubs. They were the subject of a ridiculously fawning article written by John Demont in the pre-strike Chronicle Herald days as a piece of Mark Lever’s “Now! Nova Scotia” series (the exclamation point is supposed to make you excited), “which examines — in the wake of the Ivany report — the challenges and opportunities faced by our province in today’s economy.” Wrote Demont:

Starting a business, let’s face it, has never been really easy in Nova Scotia. As Ray Ivany’s One Nova Scotia commission underscored, there’s seldom been a time when we need homegrown enterprises in this province as much as we do now.

Their report calls for a 50 per cent increase in startups in Nova Scotia. Exactly how to make it happen, of course, is the million-dollar question.

One thing is certain. We could do worse than support folks like the Bishop brothers. For a variety of reasons, they are exactly the kind of company Ivany hopes will lead us to a more prosperous future.

They export. Ivany has called for a 50 per cent increase in the number of companies that sell their products outside the country.

They are innovators.

They are also the kinds of guys you like to root for. And there’s nothing that will spur the entrepreneurial spirit — another necessity, from the commission’s point of view — quite like a stirring story.

First of all, given that about 150 new businesses are registered in the province every week, it doesn’t appear to be that difficult to start a business in Nova Scotia. Admittedly, starting a business and having a successful new business are two entirely different things, but why the heck should we desire “a 50 per cent increase in startups in Nova Scotia” if we’re not tracking how many startups are successful and how many fail? The fact is most new businesses — and especially most new small businesses — fail.

My sense is that “encouraging entrepreneurship” is the counterpart of “breaking unions” and a replacement for “paying people who work for existing businesses decently.” Moreover, in the name of a supposed “prosperous future,” we don’t adequately warn young people about the downsides of starting a business and failing — bankruptcy, the emotional and health toll, the broken families, the destroyed credit rating, the potential loss of a house, and more.

In any event, when Demont wrote that we should “support folks like the Bishop brothers,” he was speaking about specific support:

Nova Scotia Business Inc. has ponied up $2,500 to help them relaunch their website and provided another $5,000 grant for the trade show.

I don’t mean any disrespect for the Bishops — hey, good luck to anyone starting a business — but seriously, What The Actual Fuck? It cost me about $3,000 to launch this website and at least $3,000 more to promote it, and Nova Scotia Fucking Business Inc. wasn’t knocking down my door to cover those costs. (And yes, the Halifax Examiner has subscribers across Canada, in the US, and even in Europe, and so is exporting product.) Those expenses and more were covered by my savings. Surely a couple of golf pros could pull together their own damn startup costs. Why do I feel like this “hey, we’ll pay for your website!” plan was hatched over a round of golf?

Simple Rituals Skincare
Nature of business: “I make and sell skincare.”
Partner: Angela Morriscey
Morriscey is a delightful person I seem to run into everywhere. She was a server at a few restaurants, and recently was a manager at the Brasserie. She didn’t respond to my DM asking what’s up with the new business; it looks like she hasn’t been active on Twitter for a while, so I don’t think she’s purposefully ignoring me.

Maritime Home Improvement Limited
300 Union Street, Saint John
Nature of business: “Home improvement retail sales.”
Co-CEOs: James D. Irving and Robert K. Irving
The Irvings are everywhere.

Trader Corporation
British Columbia
Nature of business: “Digital automotive marketplace and advertising platform.”
This is a corporate amalgamation of the Autotrader, Trucktrader, CCP Media,  and

Head Start Tennis Limited
The company’s registration still names only the lawyer who filed the paperwork, but it has a website naming Jamie Power and Ted Misztela as co-owners.

Natalie El-Qaoud

Shop Sweet and Sultry Fashion
Partner: Natalie El-Qaoud
El-Qaoud is a commerce student, an aspiring lawyer, and a bodybuilder.

9902848 Canada Inc.
Nature of business: “Export lobster.”
President: Shengren Zheng
I predict that the “let’s send all our lobster to China!” thing is going to end badly.

John’s Lunch. Photo:

John’s Lunch Incorporated
President: Strato Baltas
Baltas has dissolved the partnership that operated John’s Lunch and has reregistered the business as a  limited liability corporation. I’m going to use this as an excuse to say something unpopular and potentially inflammatory: John’s Lunch sucks. It’s a grease pit. Baltas uses frozen fries instead of cutting his own potatoes. I don’t know, but I doubt the fish is even local, as by the time it reaches the table it’s uninspired and limp. I live in Dartmouth, and if I’m going out for fish & chips, my first pick is Evan’s at Alderney Landing. My second pick (which I make more often because Evan’s doesn’t have beer and closes at 7pm) is the MicMac Tavern. Between the MicMac and John’s sits a long list of options, including dumpster diving and starvation. Dog that place sucks.

Steam Space
North Street, Halifax
Nature of business: “A mobile steam tent urban spa offering health and wellness events, retreats and treatments.”
It’s now official: the North End is gentrified.

AAM International Import and Export 
Nature of business: “Import and export, network and security wiring installation.”
Partner: Ahmed Bida Alkali
This month, Alkali retires from Bell, where he worked for 28 years. That kind of job security is long gone.

Nature’s Cure Dog Training Ltd.
President: Evan G. Doggett
It’s a law of the universe that a guy named Doggett has to be a dog trainer.

JSA Sport Architecture Inc.
Nature of business: “Sport architecture and consulting firm.”
President: Robert Johnston
Rut-roh. Bob Johnston designs stadiums. His past work includes the Moncton Stadium, the stadium in Ajax, Ontario named for a grocery chain, the redesign of the stadium in Regina named for a potash company (the graphic above), the soccer stadium in Hamilton named for a coffee chain, and a stadium at York University named for a fucking bank, among others.  Johnston describes his mission as follows:

JSA Sport is recognized both nationally and internationally as a leading a pioneering for in Games facilities planning, the design of sports facilities that meet the requirements of staging international sports and Games events, as well as the training and performance demands of professional and amateur athletes at training facilities, recreation centers, and competitive event venues worldwide. 

As an international leader in sport architecture, JSA Sport is considered a world-class authority on the programming, design, and construction of sport, recreation, high performance sports training, sports medicine, wellness, and kinesiology research facilities. 

Large, expensive, and complicated, high performance sports facilities are quite challenging projects. Many expectations, including those of athletes, must be exceeded. To achieve success these project’s demand exceptional effort from an entire project team. 

That begs the question: What is he doing in Nova Scotia?

I called JSA to ask what they’re up to, but Johnston is in Mexico, so not available for comment.

But I have a not-too-crazy conspiracy theory: The port just filled in all that land in the Bedford Basin around Africville and is talking about moving the Ceres Terminal to Dartmouth. That will “free up” something like 400 acres of land adjacent to the Bedford Highway and the MacKay Bridge, which, I’m guessing, will soon be the suggested site of a stadium.

The Trove Boutique
217 Herring Cove Road
Partners: Emily Mosher and Kye Dorey
Mosher and Dorey opened and closed the Zion’s Gate Boutique on Williams Lake Road last year — “It’s half clothing store, half museum,” Mosher told Allison Saunders at The Coast. The new location, the former Water & Wine space on Herring Cove Road, is probably better placed to catch passersby’s attention. (I’m troubled by that apostrophe; maybe a grammarian can comment.)

Debra Whittall. Photo: Twitter

Words by Whittall
Nature of business: “speechwriting, strategic communications planning and advice writing .”
Partner: Debra Whittall
Whitall was a former reporter at CFRB in Toronto, then went over to the dark side and became a PR person for Ontario’s ministry of Transportation and then for the Attorney General. According to her LinkedIn page, since April 2015 she’s been “slowly relaxing” in retirement in Pleasanton, but evidently retirement is kinda boring so she’s back at it.

Atlantic Chip Sport Timing Inc.
Partner: Troy Musseau
Musseau is a social services investigator with the government, and a runner. According to Canada Running Magazine:

His inspiration to get into the niche business of race timing occurred at the well-known Bluenose Marathon when he ran across the mats that were laid across the road to electronically track a runner’s progress and time. “That’s cool,” Musseau remembers.

So he bought the company. Life should be so simple and good for all of us.

Scotian Smoke
1858 Albermarle Street, Halifax
Nature of business: “Vape Smoke shop.”
Partners: Everett Macneil and Kyle Shipley.
Saw this place on Albermarle, the street behind Scotia Square, the other day. There used to be a really shitty bar in the space. I loved that place.

Lazy Bear Brewing
Smiths Cove
Brewmaster Erin Norman, her husband Andy Norman, and their dog Abby (above) have started Lazy Bear Brewing.

YouTube video

Stellar Boar Productions Inc.
Nature of business: “audio-visual production.”
President: Curtis Rioux
Rioux was a writer, animator, and project manager with Cartoon Conrad, where he worked on such projects as Max & Midnight (seen above). Now he’s setting off on his own.

Tim Bousquet

Tim Bousquet is the editor and publisher of the Halifax Examiner. Twitter @Tim_Bousquet Mastodon

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  1. I love the reference to “The emperor has no clothes.” Can’t think why people recommend John’s except that it might be the slumming experience and feeling good about supporting such a place. I’m happy for anybody working so hard at keeping a business going and glad not to be a part of it.
    Fries & Company was the best when John what’s-his-name owned/operated it. Spotless place and great fish & chips plus he kept it simple. Now it’s cramped and dumpish. But, good luck to them.
    Great fish and chips live best in one’s memory. The best example is Camille’s many years ago with Willman’s a close second.

  2. Re: support or lack thereof from NSBI.
    As the Halifax Examiner does not dig stuff out of the ground, hall stuff out of the water, chop stuff out of the woods or make gizmos or widgets, it is not a “real” business according to the way the government supports business. If ever there was a time for Média to be supported it is now, but we still keep chasing last centuriy’s dream of another Michelin.

  3. I used to really like the haddock tips, but yeah, the fries are a dealbreaker. I just want to put in a good word for Fries & Co. Last time I had fish there it was delightfully fresh.

  4. RE: John’s Grease
    Finally, someone screams, “The emperor has no clothes”! I’ve eaten there once or twice. Yuck. I have often thought the joint must spend a bundle on marketing to get so much positive press. I do find it amusing that disrespecting one little greasy spoon can garner such a passionate response. Never mind that the world is turning into guano, let’s go to the ramparts for John’s Lunch. Tim, I’m guessing that you may spend rest of the day scratching your head and wondering… Oh, go for it. Start a regular alt-foodie column and double your subscription base.

    1. Agree completely. John’s has had an exaggerated profile for some time. The fish is way too greasy. However I must defend their cheeseburgers. Made from fresh never frozen hamburger and grilled onions.

  5. Seriously, John’s Lunch is the worst for Fish and Chips. After living in Halifax for 25 of my 40+ years, I finally went there last year, and didn’t even finish what was on my plate.

    After the deliciousness that is Evan’s, Wharf Wraps, MicMac, and numerous others, I didn’t understand the love that people seem to have for that place.

    Even if the clams are to die for, I won’t be back. That place was a dump.

    1. Ray, go to Parrsboro for clams. Probably don’t even need to go past economy. I found John’s overly greasy and charmless the one time I was there. I am a diner fan, so it’s not foody-snobbery, I swear. Everything was just bad, and I had to run to the bathroom immediately after eating. 8-|

  6. Tim, when will you update readers on the passing mention of the Chinese guy that registered about 8 business names and you hinted he may be looking at a hotel at Nova Centre. I tracked him, a young proferssor, the day after publication and found his USA business registered out of his Fordham University office. His home in Scarsdale is quite a pile – more then US$2.5.

  7. “Passerby’s” would be possessive of a single passer by, if I’m not mistaken. The correct term would be “passers by” with no apostrophe, unless you’re getting into some weird Newfoundland style colloquialisms.

  8. Inflammatory or apoplectic?

    I’ve eaten at John’s Lunch every now and then for decades. Hand cut fries are available all over town – sure, they’re nice but for me, not a deal breaker. I eat at Johns for the fresh fried clams, which are as good or better than anywhere else I’ve tried. They also serve nice scallops they say come from Digby, which I would guess makes them local. Besides, they’re nice folks who always seem to remember my family and treat us well when we visit.

    A grease pit – sure, what do you expect if you eat deep fried seafood? (At least they change the fat daily – you can see them doing it). I never eat there more than once every 2 or 3 months. Food that tastes that good is bound to be poisonous. They also do pizza if you’d rather, but they wouldn’t be my first choice for that.

    There was a rumor that John’s might be moving from the small storefront in which they’ve served fine seafood since 1969 to bigger premises near Pilot’s Pub. Maybe then we won’t have to stand outside for half an hour waiting for a seat? I’d still wait though – the small place is crowded because the seafood is that good.

    In fairness, I also like the MicMac Tavern – another Dartmouth culinary institution. Never tried Evan’s. Still, John’s was good enough for the Governor General’s detour on a rare trip ‘out East’, and it’s good enough for me.

    1. Tim I’m with ausca..grease is grease but the best clams and Coleslaw( made daily) around. We need a independent ‘taste-off’.

      1. In addition, what’s with the fresh cut fries snobbery? Are they also fair trade organic and union hand picked too? If you’re get on a high horse, make it a Clydesdale. I’ve thrown out more than I’ve eaten. They suck. Oh the luxury to have never eaten frozen food hahahahaha.

        John’s clams are the best, and I’m pretty fucking happy with frozen fries. If I’m having ‘fresh’ potatoes, they better not be anywhere near a deep fryer.

        1. Someone I regularly eat with has an allergy to sulphites. Frozen potatoes are loaded with sulphites– they’re exempted from food regulations around sulphates. This is a life and death situation.

  9. Hey Tim! Thanks for the kind words! I think you are just lovely too. My skincare is oil based and organic plus it’s made right here in Halifax. I didn’t realize my business registry was going to be so public and didn’t bother to give too much info. I do appreciate you sharing it with all of your subscribers. See you around soon, I’m sure.

  10. I so agree…John’s lunch does suck. I went a total of 1 time after a friend from Ontario was eating her way through the Coasts Best Of list. I was shocked that freezer fries and greasy stale fish was sold at the “best”. I think that Wharf Wraps in Eastern Passage deserves a nod…reserving all thoughts and comments about their owner.

  11. My contribution to Nova Scotia’s ongoing discussion of school closures and dead fish is this; “…is probably better placed to catch passersby’s attention.” should be worded, “…is probably better placed to catch the attention of passersby.” I will never claim to be a grammarian, but I have been accused of being a puffed-up flibbertigibbet.

  12. If you’re going to go after NSBI over token change, why not ask WTF happened to the $1.4 million given to JHS Fishproducts Canada. Seems they’re in default of many significant loans, including $1 million to ACOA…