The owners of Yellowknife fish and chip emporium Bullocks Bistro plan to begin commercially bottling their trademark salad dressing and fish sauce.
Original owners Renata and Sam Bullock would fill up bottles brought in by lovers of the recipes.
Locals can still choose that option, while Bullocks now uses recycled Grolsch beer bottles if eager customers don’t have a container of their own.
However, demand is now such that current owners Jo-Ann Martin and Mark Elson are working to take things a step further.
“We will have our own bottles eventually, once we get up and running for proper bottling, but we haven’t quite got to that point yet,” Martin told Cabin Radio.
Martin said setting up a commercial bottling process is “quite a bit of a long road.”
The bistro has finished scientific testing and picked out a bottle type. The owners must now design labels and ensure territorial regulations are met before they can begin to sell their sauces across the NWT.
Martin estimated Bullocks sells around one bottle of salad dressing or fish sauce per day. She said about 70 percent of those bottles leave the territory as gifts for people who can’t eat at the restaurant in person.
‘A little treat’
Shai Topaz, a former Yellowknife resident now living in Vancouver, recently placed an appeal for Bullocks’ sauce on the Bite Me Yellowknife Facebook group.
“I lived in Yellowknife for a few years and Bullocks was a special-occasion kind of place,” Topaz told Cabin Radio on Wednesday.
When he and his partner left the NWT, they brought a bottle of the dressing with them.
“And then it came to the last drop and we thought, ‘Oh no, what are we going to do now?’ We put out a little message on Bite Me Yellowknife. It was a long shot.”
Long shot it may have been, but the message was brought to the attention of owners Martin and Elson – who just happened to be travelling to Vancouver for an Elton John concert.
Martin explained that while Health Canada regulations state Bullocks cannot sell sauce across the border without approval, “I could definitely bring them down a little treat.”
The owners met Topaz – and another fan of the sauce, who had requested a similar delivery – outside Vancouver’s Rogers Arena on Tuesday, before the show.
“They were pretty excited. I guess it was surprising and unexpected, so they were pretty happy,” she said.
“It was just a cute moment,” said Topaz, who ended up with two replacement bottles in the hope of making the delivery last longer.
“Who knows, right? The first one lasted from May till now. We’ve got a good few months,” he said. “We put it on everything.”
Sarah Pruys contributed reporting.