Whitehorse foodies, here's your new favourite one-stop shop for local goods

·3 min read
Anne Huang prepares dumplings for her business, Anne's Dumplings. It's one of four food-based businesses that have set up in a new space in Whitehorse's industrial area. (George Maratos/CBC - image credit)
Anne Huang prepares dumplings for her business, Anne's Dumplings. It's one of four food-based businesses that have set up in a new space in Whitehorse's industrial area. (George Maratos/CBC - image credit)

Whitehorse foodies have a new one-stop shop for some local artisanal fare, tucked away in the city's industrial area.

Yukon Provisions, in the Marwell area, is home to several entrepreneurs making everything from ice cream to dumplings.

It started with Sydney Oland, who moved her chocolate and ice cream businesses into the vacant storefront last year. The ideas then started to churn.

"It was more organic. It wasn't like a like a light bulb went off. I found this space, which is a really big, beautiful open space and bought it and decided to move in. And then it turned out to be way too much space for all my businesses," she recalled.

Soon she was talking to other local entrepreneurs about making the space a kind of hub for food-based businesses.

Sydney Oland moved her Whitehorse Chocolate Company and Yukon Ice Cream businesses into the storefront last year and soon realized it was more space than she needed.
Sydney Oland moved her Whitehorse Chocolate Company and Yukon Ice Cream businesses into the storefront last year and soon realized it was more space than she needed.(Paul Tukker/CBC)

"It's nice to be in a group setting while still being able to do your own business," she said

Anne Huang, who runs Anne's Dumplings, said the timing was right for her. She had previously been working in public relations and marketing, but that work seemed to dry up when the pandemic hit.

She was also missing her family, and so she decided to launch a business that kept her connected to her culture.

"I thought, what better time than start now? It's been absolutely fantastic. I'm sure everyone agrees that it's been incredibly creative," Huang said.

"Sydney told us all, 'hey look, I'm doing this crazy thing and would you like to be part of it?' Sydney's main thing was that she wanted to help small businesses like us to succeed."

'I'm sure everyone agrees that it's been incredibly creative,' Huang said.
'I'm sure everyone agrees that it's been incredibly creative,' Huang said.(George Maratos/CBC)

Alex Johnson says he had been running his business, Daddy's Donuts, mostly out of his home before moving to Yukon Provisions. It was not ideal, he said.

"Every Thursday — the [Fireweed] market day — the whole house would get so destroyed and then you just have to, like, rebuild it. And then Thursday would come again and get destroyed again," he said.

"So it's nice to be somewhere else other than the kitchen-slash-living room-slash-bedrooms, making doughnuts ... this was like just the perfect thing for us at the time, and just continues to be great."

Fresh bread from the Landed Bakehouse.
Fresh bread from the Landed Bakehouse.(George Maratos/CBC)

Similarly, Michael Roberts of the Landed Bakehouse was having a hard time finding a suitable space to run his bread-making business before landing at Yukon Provisions.

"I think we've worked really hard together, all of us, to make it happen ... and I feel really fortunate to be part of something pretty unique and exciting," Roberts said.

"I don't think I would be able to be operating right now without this space in particular. I don't think there's a lot of options out there."