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Some size….SABRI Mussels are just divine!

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St. Anthony Basin Resources Inc. (SABRI), is a social enterprise formed in 1997 to benefit the residents from Big Brook to Goose Cove East. Their impact has been tremendous, with $15.9M+ invested in infrastructure, hundreds of jobs created and significant community and economic spin-off for the region.

One of their initiatives is a mussel farm that began in 2002 and expanded to three commercial sites in 2004. They employ three seasonal workers and a student at their farm and primary processing plant at St. Lunaire-Griquet & Gunner’s Cove.

Fresh mussels are available for purchase from June to September at Hedderson’s Store, St. Lunaire-Griquet; Burden’s General Store, St. Lunaire-Griquet; Grenfell Memorial Co-op, St. Anthony; Foodland, St. Anthony. These mussels also find their way on menus at many local restaurants. There is further opportunity to tell the story of our locally grown, locally sourced seafood on the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula.

The mussels are excellent quality and it’s evident from a purchase yesterday that they maintain an exceptional meat yield. I encourage you to buy your mussels locally at any of the above locations, 10 lbs are just $15.00. I enjoyed a bag last night and they were some size!

The night prior, the Noddy Bay-Straitsview-Hay Cove-L’anse aux Meadows-Quirpon (NSHLQ) Come Home Year Opening Ceremonies hosted a mussel boil, which served up SABRI mussels.

This economic initiative has also led to Town of St. Lunaire-Griquet to establish an Annual Mussel Festival, which is coming up on August 6-9th. Join us for an amazing opening ceremonies at 8 PM, serving up SABRI’s own mussels.

The economic impact of what a mussel farm does to create and support regional employment, business and special events is quite significant. I only hope more of these types of initiatives can lead to more success for local residents, local business, local municipalities and those who visit our region. Let’s keep buying local, it has so many positive impacts in our communities.

If you have any questions or comments concerning our Mussel Farms please contact SABRI’s Alicia Shears at ashears@nf.aibn.com or call the SABRI office at 454-3484.

Enjoy a fine feed of locally grown and locally sourced mussels when you visit the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA (The Straits-White Bay North)

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Delectable Seafood Dishes served at Lightkeeper’s Cafe, St. Anthony, NL

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The Lightkeeper’s Cafe is perched on the edge of Fishing Point, St. Anthony, NL overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. It is a whale watchers and iceberg hunters paradise as the restaurant has a beautiful view with many glass windows. Lightkeeper’s has been recommended in Where to Eat in Canada year over year and is known for its delectable seafood dishes of chowder, fish cakes and pan or deep fried fish meals.

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The salted fish cakes with scrunchions and pickles were a perfect appetizer, as is the seafood chowder with exceptionally generous portions of fish.

One never goes wrong with deep-fried or pan fried cod. I opted for the halibut dish on this visit (depicted in the gallery below), it was so wonderfully prepared.

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I was impressed to see Ben Poughman of Port au Choix’s art hanging on the wall. I would highly recommend this restaurant when visiting St. Anthony on the Great Northern Peninsula. It has the perfect location, great atmosphere, superb staff and delectable seafood dishes that caters to those craving something authentic and local.

If seafood is not your thing, you can also dine in the only sod hut restaurant in North America, enjoying Viking Dinner Theatre and a Great Viking Feast next door!

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA (The Straits-White Bay North)

Feasting on This Fish! Main Brook is shellin’ scallops for greater returns…

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The waters off the Great Northern Peninsula are filled with delicacies from the sea. There is nothing better than accessing local seafood close to home. On the plate above is halibut, cod, scallop, shrimp complimented with roasted potatoe and sliced carrots.

My father was a scallop fisher. This is a labour intensive process for the small 35 foot boat, dragging along the scallop beds and picking them from the buckets. Most of the time is spent shelling the scallop and taking only the white meat to sell to market. I am excited to see Northern Lights Seafood Ltd. of Main Brook engage in a new process that sells the scallop in a half shell form with all meat and additional product, which adds value. This is the type of secondary processing we need to see from our fishery that creates additional wealth down the value chain from end customer to harvester. It should be encouraged and supported. This concept will allow more sales of product from the fisher resulting in higher net income, plant workers receive additional hours for more labour intensive work, processor sells into higher value markets and consumers receive high-quality and demanded products from the pristine waters off the Strait of Belle Isle.

The smaller processors have opportunities to look at secondary-processing in ways that creates niche products serving niche markets for higher yields. These types of technologies and adaptation must be encouraged if we are to remain competitive on a global level and satisfy changing trends of consumer demands. People want access to high-quality fish products and we have those products, we just have to gain access and package these products to cater to these consumer demands. We have to become more innovative when it comes to our fish products and encourage active infrastructure investments.

Initiatives like “This Fish” (http://thisfish.info/) should be happening on the Great Northern Peninsula, where the fisher who caught the fish is part of the story. It works at the grocery store, restaurant, fish market at the local or global level.

Learn all about the seafood you eat, and connect to the fish Harvester who caught it, by tracing its journey from the ocean to your plate. – This Fish

In May of this year, as the Official Opposition MHA responsible for Business, I joined Sam Slade our MHA responsible for Fisheries and Aquaculture to visit FFAW-UNIFOR’s launch of This Fish seafood traceability for halibut and lobster. There were several businesses and restaurants engaging in this process, showcasing their menus that enables traceability back to a local harvester. People want experiences, they want to know where their food comes from.

This is an opportunity for our local fishers, local restaurateurs, retail and processing community to engage FFAW-UNIFOR to pursue This Fish initiatives on the Great Northern Peninsula. We have incredible fish products and fishers that need to be part of the story as exported fish from our waters ends up halfway around the world or on our neighbour’s dining table or at a downtown St. John’s restaurant.

Let’s keep finding innovative ways to grow our fishery in Newfoundland & Labrador.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
@MitchelmoreMHA

Fishing Point Emporium Filled with Newfoundland Treasures, St. Anthony, NL

Fishing Point Park. St. Anthony is at the “Peak of Your Experience” on the Great Northern Peninsula with a host of walking trails, wildlife, nature, lighthouse, dining that includes (The Great Viking Feast & Light keeper’s Restaurant) and retail shopping that includes the largest selection of souvenirs on the Viking Trail at the Fishing Point Emporium. 

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Rest awhile, and enjoy the surrounds of the coastline where you see fishing boats and glimpses of whales. During May to August the iceberg giants dominate the viewing vistas, as hoards of tourists flock to this space to enjoy many unique experiences the Great Northern Peninsula has to offer.

After taking some of the natural walking trails or reading interpretative panels placed by St. Anthony Basin Resources Inc. (SABRI), you’ll want to stop into the Fishing Point Emporium, which has a unique Polar Bear display. It also has many panels depicting life in rural Northern Newfoundland & Labrador from re-settlement, mummering, whales, icebergs, fishing, Vikings, Dr. Grenfell, provincial symbols and everyday living. 

Shop and learn about the area at the Fishing Point Emporium and Interpretation Centre. They have so many unique treasures from Viking swords, hand painted rocks, Newfoundland tartan pajamas, music, books and a host of other souvenirs and local crafts. Iceberg water is for sale there with a dairy bay and other light snacks. One of the photos above gives you a view from their window. It is just spectacular! There is a high speed internet cafe and WIFI readily available. The owners/operators exemplified customer service and knowledge of the area. They have a passion for this place!

I encourage you to visit Fishing Point and all it has to offer. Support locally owned and operated small businesses in rural communities, they are a driving force to our economy.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
@MitchelmoreMHA

Sustaining a Community takes Commitment – Raleigh, NL

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Raleigh is home to the awe-inspiring Burnt Cape Ecological Reserve, boasting over 300 plant species with 30 being rare. The Burnt Cape cinquefoil is found exclusively on the Northern Peninsula, as it is the only place in the world where this species grows. The Provincial Government of Newfoundland & Labrador has failed to live up to its obligations when it eliminated all interpretation at this Reserve. It has also neglected to install appropriate signage, develop educational material such as guidebooks and panels to preserve, educate, maintain road infrastructure and make available our natural areas to interested parties. These short-sighted decisions by Government impact and harm our rural communities. Where is Government’s commitment?

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Additionally, rural communities are facing pressures from out-migration, aging population and changes to the dynamics of the economy that sustained them since their beginning all across the globe. Sustaining our small towns takes commitment and I see that in entrepreneurs Marina and Ted Hedderson  of Raleigh, NL.

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Yesterday, I was amazed by the creativity, commitment and desire to see the Town of Raleigh with a population of less than 200 survive and thrive. The current owners have been running Marina’s Mini-Mart & Gas Bar since 2001. They saw an opportunity to get into the accommodations business to compliment the neighbouring Pistolet Bay – Provincial Park, which is typically at capacity for tents and RVs throughout the season.

I was given a tour of the cottages, which include 4 two-bedroom, 3 one-bedrooms and a newly added vacation home that has the most incredible ocean view. The vacation home is very spacious and family focused with two queen and a twin bed, laundry facilities, BBQ and a view you won’t want to leave. The two bedroom cottages are very immaculate, offering two queen beds, laundry and wooden finished interior. The three one-bedroom cottages have leather furniture and laundromat access, but the best feature is that they sit with a breath-taking ocean view from a large deck to sit and enjoy your morning coffee or evening beverage. There is an entertainment area for evening fires right at water’s edge. There 4-star accommodations are priced at an incredible value, ranging from $109-169.

The Burnt Cape Cafe is a must if you are in the area. It truly understands the importance of experiential tourism. The Cafe takes lobster to a whole new level of fresh. The patrons, if they choose can go to the local wharf and select their own lobster and get their photos taken before and after. An incredible experience!

After stepping into the cafe, my attention was immediately drawn to the back which includes a comfortable seating area, big screen television playing traditional Newfoundland music and I thought was a great place to sit and relax. They also know the value of WiFi, which is provided for free.

The original six hockey jerseys are proudly displayed as in the off-season this area becomes on Monday nights, open to the dart league.  There is a wide-selection of crafts, souvenirs and other products. I purchased a Mummer’s shot glass, as I love the jannies.

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The Newfoundland tartan on the tables is a nice touch to compliment a menu that caters to those who love high-quality seafood dishes. I was treated to some phenomenal chowder, it comes highly recommended to start. It comes with generous portions of salmon and cod, great creamy flavour that is amplified with a touch of cheese melting as you eat. As a main, I’ve had pan-seared scallops and shrimp in garlic butter that would melt in your mouth with Parmesan mashed potatoes that kept you wanting more. To top the meal off, the deep-fried ice-cream was superb. The rich coating ensured the ice-cream was cold and in tact while I slowly enjoyed this treat drizzled with bakeapples. If you have not eaten at the Burnt Cape cafe you are truly missing out.

Small business and innovation is the key to dynamic growth, especially in small communities. Ted and Marina have a vision for their Town, their home. The business currently offers everything you need at your fingertips. However, they have more big ideas on how to  add accommodations, entertainment and experiential offers that appeal to locals and visitors. They are a partner with the annual Iceberg Festival, believe in strong promotion and understand the value of packaging and providing their customers with the highest in services and unique experiences.

Sustaining a community takes commitment and these two truly have what it takes to build a stronger community. I would encourage you to drop by and support this locally owned and independent business that is doing incredibly big things in a small town.

Visit their website at: www.burntcape.com

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
@MitchelmoreMHA
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