December 3, 2022

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Nothing is impossible

‘Crazy busy’ for business owners as tourists return to Tuktoyaktuk


Grandma’s Kitchen area is operate by grandma herself — Joanne Edwards-Steen — and her spouse John Steen. 

With a guest reserve to establish it, individuals from all-around the entire world have arrived to try to eat there.

It is suitable on the Arctic Ocean and it can be at this time the only place in Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T., exactly where shelling out company can sit down for a residence-cooked meal.

And now that company are returning just after the pandemic hiatus, Edwards-Steen is one of several modest company proprietors in the group of about 900 who is run off her toes.

“It is been crazy active,” she claimed. “I just opened in, like, about a thirty day period in the past and it is really just been crazy each and every day.”

“I cook dinner, I thoroughly clean and [do] almost everything for this spot so I make my own bread, and fry fish,” states Edwards-Steen. She also serves boiled muktuk.

The cafe has operated seasonally for the earlier five years. Meanwhile, her husband sells things out of the present retail store and fills out certificates for these who dip a toe in the Arctic Ocean.

The latest addition to the small business is a independent creating exactly where men and women can get pleasure from their foods. In advance of, it was either choose-out or people today could try to eat in the couple’s home.

Martin and Elenor Creplin, site visitors from Moncton, N. B., say they have always desired to appear to the territories — and a stop at Grandma’s Kitchen was on the to-do checklist.

Three canoers stand on a beach with a sign reading "Arctic Ocean."
Allen Spelce, Jerry Cochran and Jimmy Harvey are Texas canoers who paddled from Fort Simpson to Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T., a vacation that takes 17 to 20 days. (Karli Zschogner/CBC)

“This has been a aspiration of mine to come from Atlantic Canada to the North for lots of years,” claimed Martin. “We’re touring for a several months, and one particular of our first places was to get as far north as we probably could and to dip our feet into the Arctic Ocean.”

They heard about Grandma’s Kitchen from numerous folks, and knew it was a must, Martin claimed.

“We had to arrive and try it out for ourselves and attempt beluga whale.”

Meanwhile, it can be been Sophie Stefure’s intention to share her enjoy of paddling with others.

A woman smiles on a beach standing next to paddle equipment.
Sophie Stefure, proprietor of machines rental business Arctic Ocean Canoe and Qayak in Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T. (Karli Zschogner/CBC)

Now she’s in entire momentum with her equipment rental business enterprise, Arctic Ocean Canoe and Qayak, the place she offers paddleboards, canoes and kayaks.

“It is been active quite a great deal each and every working day,” reported the young entrepreneur. “When the temperature is fantastic, folks want to be on the drinking water.”

Stefure mentioned she enjoys observing the smiles it provides to travelers and locals when they can paddle shut to the brilliance of the permafrost-mound pingos of her hometown.

This yr is Stefure’s first actual period with her rental company, which she started just prior to the pandemic. 

“Irrespective of whether it be locals or holidaymakers or you know, people today coming in from Inuvik, just for the day or weekend, they are all making an attempt to get out,” she mentioned. “So it’s superior. It is really trying to keep me chaotic.”

She isn’t going to supply excursions out to the pingos at the minute, but has maps people today can use. Appropriate now, Stefure drops the boats off at the working day use pingo stop. She claims her target is to have a long-lasting site there.


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