The Kettle Black is expanding to Kent Street in the new year, but the Charlottetown business will have a different look with a marché, or “grab and go” style concept.
“It’s going to be an awesome project,” Mazen Aldossary, owner of the Kettle Black, said Wednesday.
“I see Kent Street to start coming back again, where there is a lot of businesses coming back,” he said. “Plus, there isn’t that (many) restaurants or cafes here. We would like to give customers more variety.”
Aldossary said the new establishment at 135 Kent Street, which is near Tim Hortons and was formerly a Canada Post outlet, will have a larger coffee roaster, refrigerators with prepared meals (quiche, lasagna), freshly made jams, bread, pastry, pasta, and fruits and vegetables. There will also be seating for customers.
The idea is it will be a place where you can conveniently come in, grab a coffee and some pastry and then go about your day, explained Tina Marar, Kettle Black’s head chef.
“I think the word convenience has a negative connotation a lot of the time. People think convenience and they think it has to be fast food or it has to be something not of quality,” she said. “So, it’s going to be all organic, local, sustainable and convenient as well. They can come grab what they need, it’s a good quality product.”
Aldossary bought the original business in November 2013 when it was located on Water Street. It was relocated and opened at 45 Queen Street in February 2015.
But as the business has grown, it is having a hard time keeping up with customer demand.
“Our roaster is small. We can’t keep up with the orders. We are roasting seven days a week. So, we can’t catch up with all of our customers.”
Marar said the plan is to have two kitchens, including an open concept and visible “theatre kitchen.” The theatre kitchen will be visible to customers inside the café and to people walking in the building’s hallway.
“People want to see how their food is made. So, you’ll be able to get a glimpse of that,” she said.
Aldossary has been working on the idea of expanding to Kent Street since June or July. He said the new location has about 3,600 square feet, with about one-third of that set aside for the marché area. It could be open to customers as early as March.
Aldossary has $300,000 to $400,000 budgeted for the renovations, but he notes the final tally could be more or less of those amounts.
Aldossary expects to hire at least 10 people to work in the kitchen, especially pastry chefs and bread bakers, and another seven people to work in the marché area.