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Flavour Trader looks to build $100,000 Kam Lake greenhouse

Flavour Trader's Etienne Croteau pictured at his store
Flavour Trader's Etienne Croteau pictured at his store in 2017.

Flavour Trader owner Etienne Croteau is hoping to build a $100,000 greenhouse in Kam Lake.

Croteau has temporarily closed his store to work on the project, as well as provide food service at the Folk on the Rocks festival. Flavour Trader reopens on July 24.

“We have too many projects going on.” he explained.

This is Flavour Trader’s first appearance at Folk on the Rocks, serving up international cuisine including a sautéed chicken skewer from Malaysia, a pork peri peri skewer from Portugal, Lebanese kebabs, enchiladas, and tacos.



‘Bright sun in winter’

Croteau has partnered with Thea Campbell to plan the construction of a solar-heated, energy-efficient greenhouse in Yellowknife.

The building, in Kam Lake, is expected to take up around 400 square feet.

“A passive greenhouse is a permanent structure. It’s really a commercial building, with the exception of all windows on the top and south side walls, and we have a commercial kitchen in it to transform the
veggies,” he told Cabin Radio.

“We also have a cool room to keep them fresh, in the level of humidity that they need to be kept longer.



The scheme aims to utilize funding from two programs, the Canadian Agricultural Partnership and the territory’s SEED (Support for Entrepreneurs and Economic Development).

“Some last details have to be managed. We are pretty confident,” said Croteau.

“If everything is good, the plans for the passive greenhouse are on the way to City Hall for a development permit and a construction permit … and we build in September.”

The greenhouse is designed to increase the length of the growing season available to Croteau. “We can take advantage of the bright sun in the winter,” he said.

‘A little dream’

The duo envisages the greenhouse will close around October because of cold temperatures and lack of sun, then seeding will begin around the first week of March.

“We would like to try winter growing, but in Yellowknife it’s really ambitious because, unfortunately, the temperatures are so low,” said Croteau. “But we will do some tests.

“We will need all of Yellowknife to help us put seeds and seeding on the soil,” he added.

Croteau has also applied to replace the current operator of the Museum Café, Chris Zouboules, after he moves to the Legislative Assembly in the coming weeks.

For Croteau, Museum Café would be a dream space.

“We really hope to be able to manage it,” he said. “It’s really a little dream about a mix of culture and food. It’s a northern experience there – of course with the little spicy part of Flavour Trader.”