Dana Shortt Gourmet Now Stocking Four All Ice Cream!
Our pints have officially hit Uptown Waterloo on the shelves of Dana Shortt Gourmet and Gifts on Erb Street East. We spoke with Dana Shortt herself to understand what her store brings to the KW community and why we are excited about the opportunity to stock our ice cream there:
How did Dana Shortt Gourmet and Gifts begin?
"Dana Shortt Gourmet and Gifts opened its doors in 2004. I began working in catering because I wanted to share my creativity and my passion for food with my clients during the important moments in their lives: weddings, family get-togethers, milestones with friends. I wanted to create delicious and unique dishes for people to enjoy that they couldn’t get anywhere else, with everything made by hand, using great quality ingredients and featuring local flavours whenever possible.
But as my catering business grew, something unexpected happened: my clients began requesting my dishes for themselves and their families. That’s when I knew I wanted to bring gourmet food home. My goal in opening Dana Shortt Gourmet and Gifts was not to create another food and gift shop; it was to curate a unique customer experience. I am committed to carrying exclusive items that are difficult to find anywhere else."
What makes Dana Shortt Gourmet and Gifts unique? How do you decide what to put on the shelves?
"I’m not looking to carry more items than anyone else; I’m looking for better. You can walk into any gourmet food shop and be confronted by a sea of options; a few true gems lost among shelves full of prettily packaged items with unexceptional flavour and inflated price tags. Instead, I sample and choose my favourite 8 jams, 5 chutneys for cheeses, 10 varieties of crackers and so forth to create the ultimate foodie pantry. I am committed to carrying exclusive items that are difficult to find anywhere else. For instance, after sampling Coach House Shortbread at the One of a Kind Show, I pursued the
I am committed to carrying exclusive items that are difficult to find anywhere else. For instance, after sampling Coach House Shortbread at the One of a Kind Show, I pursued the owner for several years before we were chosen to be one of 13 retailers in Canada to carry the product line. We are also the exclusive supplier of Rheo Thompson chocolates in the Kitchener/Waterloo region. More recently, I was the second retail store in Canada to carry The Third Place Tonic, a tonic “concentrate” perfect for cocktail aficionados looking to create an authentic traditional gin and tonic. I’m always looking for new product lines that I feel would excite my customers – a trip to Florida in 2011 led to my opening Canada’s second olive oil and balsamic vinegar tasting bar. And now, we are thrilled to be a selected retailer for FourAll ice cream!
I’m always looking for new product lines that I feel would excite my customers – a trip to Florida in 2011 led to my opening Canada’s second olive oil and balsamic vinegar tasting bar. And now, we are thrilled to be a selected retailer for Four All Ice Cream! We are thrilled to be able to offer our customers a new product line that is delicious, high quality and unique! We also love supporting other women in business."
Currently on the menu at Dana Shortt Gourmet is asparagus from Barrie's Asparagus Farm and up next will be the corn from Herrle's Country Farm Market. "Our food philosophy is driven by the local farmers and artisans who are labouring year-round to bring fantastic product to the community", says Dana. They will be using Herrle's corn to make seasonal dishes including soups, chowders, quesadillas, sweet corn and jalapeno scones, and more. Dana explains that community partnerships and seasonality are key to the menu: "In the spring, we indulge our love of asparagus with the help of Barrie’s Asparagus Farm, and in the fall, we make root vegetable magic thanks to Stevenaus Family Farms and Nauman’s Farm. Beer from Abe Erb brew pub works beautifully in our feature Oktoberfest and Father’s Day dishes". Soon you will be able to purchase menu items and giftware for Canada Day and summertime at Dana Shortt Gourmet.