Food Notes for July 26, 2021

Intent Coffee Closes Permanently

Back in September, Intent Coffee opened their cafe in Southgate Centre with such promise. Run by Mavi Tolentino and Reika Herradura, both identifying as queer first-generation Philipinx, Intent Coffee had a grand vision: “By hiring, investing, and empowering marginalized people in coffee, we will create a positive social and economic impact to the marginalized communities here in so-called Edmonton and as well as uplift Indigenous coffee producers in the Philippines.”

In preparation for their opening, they were able to successfully crowdfund over $6,000 to cover start-up costs. Their initial staff were made up of six people from the queer and trans Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) communities, with the hope of creating a safe space for queer youth and people of colour.

Unfortunately, Intent Coffee announced that their shop closed permanently last week. In a statement posted to Instagram on July 26, 2021, they disclosed the financial duress they had been under and how their inexperience affected the business:

“In early July, we literally had $1,000 in our checking account. We have also made bad financial decisions over the past two weeks out of desperation to keep our doors open and keep our livelihoods…Going into this, we didn’t have any business background and definitely didn’t have any money. Our lack of experience led us to making mistake after mistake.”

Tolentino and Herrandura go on to say they are hopeful their work might spark some change:

“We might have failed in moving towards our vision but we at least failed forward and we certainly did not fail in trying. We hope that we have inspired at least one of you to be the change or create the change you want to see in the world.”

Openings

  • A restaurant called Shoyu Sushi is coming soon to the former Allegro spot downtown, at 10011 109 Street.
  • An outpost of The Canadian Brewhouse is now open at the Edmonton International Airport, next to the Central Security.

Closures

  • La Boule, the popular Old Strathcona bakery, is announcing that they will be closing their doors on August 22, 2021. But we may see the business again at some point: “Our lease has come to an end and so we must say farewell. This is not goodbye forever, just so long for now.”
  • Several restaurants at the Edmonton International Airport closed permanently over the last year, including Wayne Gretzky’s Wine and Whisky, Heineken Lounge, and Brioche Dorée Bakery.

Upcoming Events

  • A reminder that the Heritage Festival returns July 31-August 2, 2021. Free timed-entry passes are required for entry.
  • Ice District’s plaza hosts ICE Jam every Saturday starting at 5pm, with live music and food and beverages for purchase.
  • Concert series Lord of the Wings (which hosts local talent but also offering up a side of wings) continues on August 28 and September 11, 2021 with two dates remaining at ReMax Field. The Journal has a backgrounder on the event.

Local News

  • Edify is looking for the best burger in Edmonton in their Edify Burger Challenge. Submissions will be accepted until July 29, 2021.
  • Opinions on 124’s newest addition, The Lot, which hosts a rotating roster of food trucks, are mixed.
  • According to OpenTable data, Edmonton restaurants have seen an increase in customers in July 2021 when compared with July 2019.
  • The Journal has the backstory on Drizzle Ice Cream.
  • Seven local breweries located on 99 Street want to rebrand the road to be called “Happy Beer Street”.
  • On its first day in operation, the Snickerdoodle booth at Taste of Edmonton was destroyed by a self-contained fire.
  • The next item added to Edify’s Best Things to Eat list is the parmesan soup from Bundok.
  • Sharman was invited to try the Hotel Macdonald’s patio offerings at the Confederate Lounge.
  • Alberta’s craft distilleries continue to grow in numbers, alongside the number of craft breweries.
  • The City is conducting a survey about its pilot program of permitting alcohol consumption at select picnic sites in Edmonton.
  • Chef Scott Johathan Iserhoff of Pei Pei Chei Ow was featured in a Travel Alberta piece on his recommendations for Indigenous food, art, and storytelling in Edmonton.
  • Local restauranteur Morris Klimove, who opened multiple restaurants in Edmonton including Steak Lofts, passed away at the age of 97.

Urban Agriculture and Farming

What I Ate

  • I’m happy I was able to introduce Rosewood Foods to my two visiting sisters last week – I opted for their bistro chicken salad that day – light but satisfying.
  • Rosewood Foods

Bistro chicken salad from Rosewood Foods

  • Friday was the perfect evening to continue our picnic tradition with Young & Restless Pizza. One pie would have easily fed three adults but we wanted to sample both the pepperoni and meat lovers. The crust was thin and chewy, with a generous amount of toppings. Definitely worth a try, especially if you have the chance to enjoy it outdoors!
  • Young & Restless Pizza

Pepperoni pizza from Young & Restless Pizza

  • We walked over to the Black Owned Market’s one year anniversary event on Saturday and picked up some great finds! This included the chin chin poppers from Travelling Dishes, a Nigerian food service – immensely addictive, we all couldn’t stop eating them.
  • Travelling Dishes

Chin chin poppers from Travelling Dishes

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