Mill Street in Almonte is the heart of that town and a major tourist attraction, so what happens on Mill Street is of interest to all of us in Mississippi Mills. The Millstone has noticed a number of changes and happenings over the last few months.
Of course there is the Mill Street Crepe Company which has garnered rave reviews in the Ottawa Citizen. http://www.ottawacitizen.com/life/food/Crepe+expectations/5827863/story.html and was the subject of a recent CTV regional contact.http://ottawa.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20120210/ott-regional-contact-heritage-court-120210/20120210/?hub=OttawaHome
The restaurant is packed every day and the variety of eclectic shops in the Heritage Mall, along with other shops along Mill Street, mean that a visitor can spend a fulfilling day browsing. Gord Pike calls the opening of the Heritage Mall the tipping point, taken from Malcolm Gladwell's popular book, which posits that there is a moment of critical mass when some material change happens. The change in Almonte's case is the attraction of visitors to Mill Street and to Almonte.
Another popular spot, Cafe Postino celebrated its first anniversary in Almonte on February 18. Packed with supporters from restaurants that owners Steve and Claire Falsetto previously operated in Ottawa, as well as new devotees from Mississippi Mills, the cafe served a special meal including orangini Siciliani, grilled vegetables with ricotta cheese, pasta with porcini mushroom sauce, a mixed grill with peppercorn sauce and Italian sausage, and tiger shrimps on linguini. The meal was followed by a complimentary desert and glass of champage for each diner. SInce that event Claire has broken her knee and is confined to home for a few weeks. Although they miss her, Steve says that the restaurant staff is coping cheerfully.
The popular video store Arg Mayhem abruptly closed its doors on Mill Street and is temporarily located in Carleton Place but hopes to return to Almonte before long.
Lime Tree Home Decor will be departing shortly but a new store has opened on the upper end of Mill Street, called Peches et Poivre (Peaches and Pepper). In the store you'll find Lise Ladouceur,who describes her shop as "from sweet to savoury and all from local suppliers". Currently the store is stocked with jams, spices, condiments, soups and a fascinating selection of smoked foods. All her goods are high quality with no additives. Lise plans to have fresh, local salad greens as soon they are available.
Another establishment that supports local suppliers is the Heirloom Cafe Bistro. This high end restaurant, run by Cordon Bleu graduates supports a group of local suppliers including Local Logical Foods, Pine Valley Beef, Perth Pork Products, Flintshire Farms, Maple Lane Farm, Art-Is-In Bakery, Back Forty Cheese , Fifth Town Cheese, Mariposa Farm and Equator Coffee Roasters.