Through trials and tribulations, Dacane Surf Shop owner Lance Moore has always strived to provide the best opportunities and gear for wave-tamers. Having hatched the shop's first incarnation in his mother's basement and moved on to locations where break-ins and robberies were rampant, he maintained his focus on learning his trade before finally settling in Halifax. Always looking to stay one step ahead of the sport, Lance and his team seek out the most cutting-edge surfing equipment available from reputable designers such as Channel Islands, Santa Cruz, and Watercooled. His instructors customize surf camps and lessons to help mould burgeoning aquanauts of all ages and skill levels, and hip threads from the likes of Quiksilver and Billabong keep them looking the part. The surf shack also sets up adventurists with stand-up paddleboards, skim boards, body boards, and all the accessories needed to coast the whitecaps or add authenticity to an online dating profile.
Fruitful Expressions enchants givers and receivers alike with its handmade, customized fruit and confection concoctions. Artfully assembled chocolate-covered strawberry bouquets and fruit baskets take centre stage on the tables of special occasions. The bakers’ talents shine most brightly in their chocolate cake pops, individual tokens of edible art available in dozens of styles that take the shape of animals, seasonal figures, or event-specific shapes such as brides and grooms (not included with this Groupon). Fruitful Expressions also concocts treats for holidays and special occasions, celebrating everything from Thanksgiving and birthdays to St. Patrick’s Day and Casual Banana Hat Tuesdays.
In 1998, shop owners Ellen and Gregg ventured from their Chicago home out into the northern sunset, sowing the seeds of Otis & Clementine’s Books and Coffee in Upper Tantallon. Their business has since grown to carry more than 20,000 books, including recent best sellers, classics, romance novels, and young adult titles, as well as handmade jewellery from local artisans. Interspersed throughout the store are several reader-friendly lounge areas, boasting vintage area rugs and oversized chairs, where visitors can relax while sipping on cups of organic tea or fair-trade coffee from Just Us. Members of the shop’s book club meet regularly to share opinions of current titles and dish the latest Louisa May Alcott gossip.
Wicker Emporium’s product buyers scour lands near and far to find elegant home accents for their customers. The practice of travelling to different countries began more than 35 years ago, when the company’s heads joined the crew of a pirate ship to pay off a gambling debt. Today, in 20 stores across Atlantic Canada and Ontario, customers can still browse pillows, quilts, mirrors, outdoor accessories, and shelves imported from local manufacturers and international crafters.
Busy Bee Tools equips its patrons with more than 5,000 different woodworking, metal, and power tools by brands such as DeWalt, Makita, Bosch, Freud, Craftex, Delta, and Porter-Cable. Digital calipers ($19.99) measure the precise distance between hanging portraits of Frank Gehry's protractor, and shockless hammers ($10.99) keep wayward nails in check. Suction-seal safety goggles ($3.99) and magnetic wrist bands ($2.49) ensure home repairs conclude without a glitch. A plethora of woodworking and metalworking implements avail themselves to creative projects from custom-whittled figurines to home-forged chocolate fountains.
Noble Grape arms amateur vintners and would-be brewmasters with the equipment and supplies they need to craft their own reds, whites, and brews at home. The store's winemaking starter package includes 15 items crucial to turning lowly grape juice into nectar worthy of Bacchus, including a fermenting device, racking accoutrements, a 23-litre glass carboy, a bottle filler, sanitizer, and a moody yet talented wine whisperer to tame the grapes. Oenophiles can choose from a stock of 25 Vintners Reserve wine kits designed to yield 23 litres in varietals ranging from pleasantly acidic chardonnay to bold, palate-blanketing cabernet sauvignon, or opt for a Twisted Mist wine-cocktail kit in flavours such as strawberry margarita and mojito. This option also includes $20 off a future wine-kit purchase.