Yellowknife’s contest-winning Japanese bakery opens Tuesday

Ja-Pain, the Japanese bakery that won a 2017 contest for free downtown space, will open on Tuesday according to the City of Yellowknife.

Owner Seiji Suzuki won the City’s inaugural Win Your Space promotion, which featured a Dragons’ Den-style face-off between local businesses for a year of free leased space in one of several locations.

The space was valued at up to $48,000, alongside other benefits including up to $10,000 in start-up cash from BDIC, a free business licence, free chamber of commerce membership for a year, and a free website.

But Suzuki had trouble converting his chosen space – in Centre Square Mall – into a bakery, and struggled to get the fire marshal to issue a permit as reported by CBC in December.

In documents issued to councillors earlier this month, City of Yellowknife staff said Ja-Pain’s problems had since been resolved.


The bakery will open on Tuesday, April 24 at 8am according to a tweet published by the City on Monday morning.

Ja-Pain has a prominent location facing Franklin Avenue at the uptown end of the mall, across the entrance from A&W.