If there’s one thing one learns of Sidney’s shopping district is that it works. It’s a self sustaining quaint little community that if ever a Walmart was dropped into the middle of it, Sidney would forever lose its slice of life image.
Independent shops, restaurants and food markets are the life blood of any community, and I marvel at the diversity when I shop in Sidney’s version of a High Street (Beacon Street). Places like the multi-faced Lunn’s would consider itself lucky to last 5 years in an area of empty shops and few jobs. They’ve been satisfying the appetites of the local community for 35 years.
Other businesses like The Victorian Bird House and Buddies Toys (this one is on my favourites list) would only last mere months against a blue box powerhouse.
The last time I was in Sidney was six years ago. This time I was there for love (or lust). I arrived earlier than my date and this gave me ample opportunity to stroll up and down Beacon Street. Lunn’s was my first stop. The place was empty and I pardoned myself as I entered.
I had only to ask if they were open to get a bright smile from the woman behind the counter. Soon I was carrying on a conversation with the newest employee and the owner.
“You must come back for some pumpkin pie,” the employee eventually said, “We have the best pumpkin around!”
I made a mental note of this new challenge before leaving with a bag of baked goodies. I purchased a shortbread bat with icing, a chocolate chunk and pecan cookie, and a chocolate mini roll. Or is that mint? I’m not the only one to misread the sign.
The mini roll was light and delicious. But instead of cream, what I tasted had the flavour of chocolate mousse.
Perhaps it made sense to have dessert before a food snack but I made a straight line to Sidney Bakery. This bakery has been in the same family for the past 68 years. From the look of things, it hasn’t been modernized in at least the past 30. But that’s okay, the retro look only adds to its charm.
It’s a pity the service that day couldn’t match what I expected. Maybe the cashier was more interested in chatting it up with her friends than with serving real customers (me in particular).
I left and soon found Green Wasabi, a small Japanese restaurant with an intimate looking courtyard. But how can one eat peacefully at this place with a Barenaked Lady out front? Being that Ed Robertson is Ed and Ed’s Up always, he had a craving for some Japanese cusine. Because he is Barenaked, did he lack pockets to keep his wallet? And perhaps to pay his bill, I wondered if he left the owner with one signed photo and a cheeky imprint in the vacated seat.
Ed with his fellow nudists may know his music but does he know his Japanese cruisine like our Ed? I guess I’ll soon find out. One can only hope he doesn’t leave a lasting impression with the owner as Robertson did.
I "discovered" the Sidney Bakery a couple years ago. Classic baked goods, great prices. Then shortly after, they renovated a bit and added a new awning out front. Prices went up and selection went down. All things must change. Not uusally for the better.