Monday, May 7, 2012

The Newfoundland Store

While waiting for my annual Spring tire exchange, I decided to have a walk around the local neighborhood and visit this wonderful shop. I am ashamed to say that in all my years here in Halifax, I have never set foot in it! I've admired it many times driving past but that was it.
Tucked away on a neighborhood side street, the Newfoundland Store is a Halifax institution that has remained relatively unchanged for 95 years! The hand stencilled signage on the windows has never been upgraded and is so charming in this world of bold advertising. See if you can read what some of the items are.
Stepping inside is like entering another era. High ceilings, wooden shelves, everything painted gleaming white. Product neatly lined up. Not a lot of it but enough to keep their dedicated customers happy. Children of original customers now bring their children to shop.
Everything in the store is from Newfoundland, products and books that you cannot get here.An ecelctic mix of goodies. Pease pudding. Remember the rhyme? "Pease pudding hot, pease pudding cold, pease pudding in the pot, nine days old"
In the back room are some more unusual items like salted pig's tails, cod tongues and their biggest seller, corned beef. (salt beef). In the old days you could get caribou, moose, venison, rabbit and seal. Flipper pie was a specialty. Now with health regulations and inspections, wild meat cannot be sold. There is a freezer stocked with all sorts of things too.
I loved the bright and airy feel to the place. Clean as a whistle and full of interesting things.
The Newfoundland Store was opened in 1917 by Mr and Mrs Hill. Forty-five years ago, Cliff and Pat Yarn took it over.  Cliff has since passed away and Pat runs the shop with the able help of Dave Harnett. Dave has been working there since he was ten years old! Forty six years he has been there. He lived just down the street and was hired by Mr. Hill to stock shelves because Mr. Hill was too short. A year later the Yarns took over and Dave forty six years later is still here managing the shop. He is the one who makes all the signs:)
Dave loves his work and the customers have become friends. While I was there, there were a few people who popped in for things knowing exactly what they wanted. One woman was purchasing tins of salt fish. I asked her how she used them and she said "fishcakes". So much easier than buying dried salted fish, soaking and then flaking and mixing with onions and mashed potatoes.
Another man was in for his fix of peppermint lumps! (or nobs as the Newfies say)
If you have a chance, do pop by and have a visit. It is on Willow Street, near Robie. A bit of living history.
Of course I had to purchase something before I left and it was a tin of custard powder,  a packet of Jam Jams, another big seller at the shop and their famous summer savoury. (a green herb)
Yeppers, a place to cherish.

11 comments:

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

Being a Newf, this place is dear to my heart. I haven't visited in years though, and I haven't had a need to as my parents or my daughter keep me supplied with peppermint knobs and peanut butter kisses and partridgeberry jam. How lovely to see the inside of the shop! Thanks Shelagh!

aliceinparis said...

Hi Sandy~ I really feel bad that after all these years it was my first visit to the wee shop. I'd always been curious.

FoundProdigalDaughter said...

I have heard of it a few times but never knew quite where it was...I'll have to be sure to look for it next time I'm in the area.

Noelle the dreamer said...

Lovely post and thanks for sharing! Ex-RAF hubby was reminded of his first job, helping in a grocery/deli shoppe (slicing cheese was his favourite!) in his Midlands hometown. His older brother had worked there before and the youngest one followed my husband. The owner is still a family friend albeit the shoppe sadly was sold years ago.
All the best,

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Charming!

Donna Laprade said...

I've driven by it often trying to get to Robie St. from the McDonald bridge, but I've never stopped in.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I love visiting artisanal and regional specialty shops such as this, Shelagh, and learning about and trying "new to me" products.I visited Newfoundland once on a cruise stop and found their baked goods and candies to be so delicious!

Mary said...

Oh i would absolutely love to step inside and spend lots of time exploring! What a wonderful neighborhood store. Portland, Maine.. near where i grew up has many old neighborhood stores like this one. Love them. This Portland has a few, but not nearly so many. I feel a little homesick for the East Coast now, but in a good way. I noticed the apartments across the street in one of your pics. Nice old neighborhood. :)

Cathy said...

I LOVE this post!!! Thanks so much for sharing with pictures!!! ♥♥♥

Kim Humes said...

Ah great to see in this place - I have never been in either! My mom's office is right around the corner and I've always wondered what it was like in there. Mmmm Jam Jams are good :)

Kerry said...

Thanks for posting! I lived in Newfoundland for a few years and enjoyed it. I will have to drop in the store some time. I love pease pudding!