Kristen Chemerika-Lew and her husband Kyle Lew are a bright addition to Winnipeg's food scene. In Fall 2013, the couple (along with an assist by their adorable infant son Charlie), opened Chew.
The charming café hit the mark with its attention to local ingredients from small producers. Their globally inspired regional cuisine was an instant hit with food lovers and critics too. The intimate dining room was on many 'best new restaurant' lists that year.
So, it makes perfect sense that Chermerika and Lew, have expanded their horizons. In late October, the pair opened The Store Next Door, a bakery, espresso bar and prepared foods shop.
The new business is located—you guessed it—right next door to Chew. The new space, formerly a hair salon, has received a major makeover. Long wooden communal tables, repurposed barn wood, bright white subway tiles and shelves loaded with preserves and pickles decorate the space.
Every day between eight and 10 varieties of freshly baked breads are on the racks alongside sweet and savoury pastries.
French, Eastern European and Southeast Asian baked favourites—like croissants, coconut buns and knishes—are also be fresh from the ovens.
"It's all the things we miss from Toronto," says Kyle. (The couple met at cooking school in Toronto but moved to Winnipeg to open shop. Winnipeg is also Kristen's home town.)
The Store Next Door serves Bialis, a Polish-style bagel. Instead of a hole, the centre divot is stuffed with savoury ingredients like caramelized onions, pesto, cheese, poppy seeds and other flavour combinations.
Two upright fridges are also stock grab-and-go meals like lamb pot pie with turnips, golden beets and potatoes, shepherd's pie with sweet potato and chicken, soups and a selection of vegetarian fare.
As Kristen says: "It's how we eat."
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