The Sundog Trading Post is now serving ice cream, coffee, and paninis in Yellowknife’s Old Town.
The building is owned by husband-wife duo Richard McIntosh and Christine Wenman, who also run the dogsledding and tour company Sundog Adventures. The pair had planned a café and ice cream parlour for a year.
“It’s been a long journey,” McIntosh said on Sunday. “We’ve owned this building for about two years now, and we always had a vision for this to be a community place to either book tours or have some coffee.
“The ice cream was a Covid pivot, because the idea of a tourism hub obviously fell apart a little bit … when we travel, we always end up in ice cream shops, and there was no authentic ice cream shop in Yellowknife yet, so we decided to do that.”
The café menu – designed by chef Calvin Roussouw – includes handmade ice cream, coffee and tea, and lunch items such as paninis, salads, and sandwiches.
The staple ice cream flavours are chocolate sea salt and Madagascar bourbon vanilla. A few seasonal picks are also available; this weekend, it was blueberry swirl with star anise and butterbirch walnut.
The café opened last Thursday and has already gained a following. Despite attempting a soft launch by invitation, McIntosh said, word spread quickly.
“It’s lots of fun,” he said. “Yellowknife has been super supportive. They’ve been coming in droves.
“It’s just progressively gotten busier and busier because people love our food. Calvin has just done an amazing job.”
The new café hasn’t yet been open for a week but the owners have their sights on the future.
McIntosh wants to sell pints of Sundog’s ice cream at local stores and restaurants, and add homemade fudge and kombucha to the menu. He hopes to host events such as coffee houses and birthday parties.
“We’re open to everything. We just want to make it a fun place to hang out,” McIntosh said.
“Bullock’s Bistro actually got started out of this building, so lots of longtime Yellowknifers are happy to see it back to a community place again. It definitely looks much different, but it’s coming full circle.”
The Sundog Trading Post at 4 Lessard Drive is open 11:30am to 7pm, Tuesday through Sunday.