From February 28th to March 7th, the West End BIZ will be celebrating all 55 businesses that opened in the West End in 2021. Over the week, folks will have the chance to learn more about the businesses, participate in a draw where folks can win prizes and discover some new places to check out.

Throughout the week, *participating businesses will have a draw box at their location where customers are encouraged to enter the draw. Folks will have the opportunity to win one of two prizes worth $100, the prize includes gift cards, socks and goodies! The winners will be randomly drawn on March 7th and contacted by phone or email. For full contest rules, please click here.

Participating Businesses 

Friends Donair and Shawarma, 884 Notre Dame Ave *draw box location

Hair Bruja, 1318 Portage Ave *draw box location

Memory Lane Diecast & Collectables Inc., 1412 Erin St *draw box location

Turtle Woman Indigenous Wear, 1116 Portage Ave *draw box location

Vast Market, 407 Carlton St *draw box location

Gato Bakery819 Sargent Ave. *draw box location

Mairongo’s Hair Boutique – 675 Sargent Ave *draw box location

Seven Cafe – 745 Wall Street *draw box location

Businesses Established in 2021

A Muse N Games – 576 Wall St.

Ankang Acupuncture-  724 Ellice 

Apple Self Storage – 1340 Notre Dame

Atomic Flower Cannabis – 912 Portage Ave

Babco Automotive –1164 Richard Ave

Best West Pet Foods – 1111 Ellice Ave

Blue Planet Marketing – 1079 Wellington Ave

Bright Link immigration – 714 Sargent Ave

Can-Aqua International – 1336 Clifton St

Cilantro’s Restaurant – 1132 Portage Ave

Creative Wellness Counselling – 895 Wall St

Debt Medic – 1317 Portage Ave

Dental Dreams – 530 Notre Dame Ave

Douglas Jordy Manulife Securities – 1079 Wellington Ave

Easy 2 Rent – 888 Sargent Ave

Evolution Wheel – 1061 Notre Dame Ave

Farmer’s Son Co – 1079 Wellington Ave

Friends Donair and Shawarma – 884 Notre Dame Ave

Fusion Capital Corporation – 1075 Portage Ave

Gato Bakeshop – 819 Sargent Ave

Gladys Caribbean Kitchen – 726 Sargent Ave

Good Local – 1041 Erin St

Got Plant – 873 Notre Dame Ave

Harmony Financial Solutions – 1335 Portage Ave

Hair Bruja – 1318 Portage Ave

Immishark Immigration Consultancy – 888 Sargent Ave

Insight Bookkeeping & Tax Services – 993 Portage Ave

KM Sheet Metal – 747 Wall St

Leah Peever Massage – 595 Clifton St

Mairongo’s Hair Boutique – 675 Sargent Ave

Memory Lane Diecast & Collectables Inc – 1412 Erin St

Millenial Currency Exchange – 888 Sargent Ave

Nexgen Drywall –941 Erin St

North End Stop – 887 Notre Dame Ave

Not A Donut – 353 Langside St

Oswald Construction – 941 Erin St

P & T Innovations – 1201 Richard Ave

Philman Cargo Express – 888 Sargent

Precision Controls – 1079 Wellington Ave

Rahbot Hair Salon – 540 Ellice

Revv Motors – 648 Sargent Ave

Richard & Wintrup – 883 Notre Dame Ave

Ritson & Pelletier – 576 Ellice Ave

Seven Cafe – 745 Wall Street

Shapes and Feelings – 618 Arlington St

Simply Offices Professional Workspace – 1079 Wellington Ave

Sweet Aroma Chinese Restaurant – 570 Sargent Ave

Sure Shot Dispensing – 1354 Clifton St

Ted Irvine Financial – 1079 Wellington Ave

TGI Business Centre – 1065 Ellice Ave

The Garden – 955 Portage Ave

Turtle Woman Indigenous Wear – 1116 Portage Ave

Umaido Donuts – 555 Balmoral St

Vast Market – 407 Carlton St

Westbrook Dental Group – 819 Sargent

Hair Bruja, 1318 Portage Ave. 

Mariana Cañadas, owner of Hair Buja

After 23 years as a hairstylist, Mariana Cañadas decided it was time to open her own salon. A West End resident and a woman of colour, Mariana wanted to create a sense of community at her salon and make sure that everyone felt welcomed. Mariana searched long and hard for a location and eventually found 1318 Portage Ave. Although there was still much work to be done—plumbing, lighting, choosing the colour palate—Mariana knew it was perfect. 

“[Hair Bruja] was just the natural next step in my career . . . it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to get to where you’re going, you just keep going” – Mariana Cañadas 

There are always challenges opening up a new business, let alone during a pandemic, but Mariana notes that this first year has been amazing. While it has been a long time coming, Mariana attributes her initial success to her amazing clientele that have been with her throughout her entire career, which only goes to show her incredible skill as a hairdresser and artist. Remarkably, Hair Bruja is owned and run solely by Mariana. Partially, this is due to the nature of the pandemic; however, Mariana loves that she can offer her clientele a private, comfortable setting while they get their hair cut and styled. Not only is Hair Bruja an Aveda salon, meaning they only use high-quality Aveda products, but Mariana prides herself on being able to work on “all textures” but is recognized as a curly specialist by many. Mariana notes that growing up, many hairdressers did not know how to cut her curly hair and this made her feel unwelcome at times. For this reason, Mariana wants everyone who sits in her chair to feel welcomed, seen, and taken care of. Mariana works on natural hair, colouring, barbering, and will also be providing hot shaves in the future. 

Many of Mariana’s clientele happens to live in the West End, allowing them to walk to their appointments, which Mariana thinks is very cool. Mariana’s salon, Hair Bruja, is a wonderful addition to the West End and we are thrilled to have someone who is so passionate about not only hair but her community. 

Harmony Financial Solutions, 1335 Portage Ave. 

Harmony Financial Solutions Inc. is a boutique and client-centric firm at 1335 Portage Ave. that provides financial advice to individuals, families, and business owners. Their firm offers a range of financial services, industry experience, and special skills, which aim to establish long-term strategies and fit various financial needs in all economic conditions. You can reach Harmony Financial by email,, or by calling 204-808-8096. 

Memory Lane Diecast & Collectables Inc., 1412 Erin St. 

John Dyck, owner of Memory Lane Diecast & Collectables

Nine months ago, John Dyck opened Memory Lane Diecast & Collectables Inc. at 1412 Erin St. After retiring from the dairy industry that he worked in for 47 years, John was searching for something to do with his time. For his entire life, John has collected toy cars and has been interested in cars; so much so that John and his wife, Beverley (Bev), were members of the Corvette Club of Manitoba for over 40 years. In conjunction with the Downtown BIZ, they hosted a charity car show for The Rainbow Society, now known as The Dream Factory, raising $110,000 over a period of 11 years. His helper, Terry, happened to find the perfect location for John’s business, right here in the West End, and Bev, having always supported his interests, urged him to take it. Unfortunately, after doing everything together for 50 years, Bev passed away from COVID before John’s business could officially open.  

Despite these challenges, John remains incredibly enthusiastic, noting that Memory Lane is his “happy place.” John says business these last 9 months has been better than expected, but, more importantly, that Memory Lane makes him feel good and “it isn’t always about the money.” 

If you are looking for any toy automobile, John has you covered: John offers a vast selection of diecast collectables, toy cars, toy trucks, hot wheels, toy tractors, toy trains, etc. The selection includes both new and antique toys, as at least 50% of the store’s inventory is collectables that John has garnered over the past 40 years. John accepts collectables, does special orders and, if you are searching for a gift for someone, he will assist you in finding something that they will absolutely love. 

John is looking forward to summer, when he can decorate his storefront with benches and flowerbeds for those who would like to stop-in or just take a rest and “smell the roses.” Here in the West End, we love seeing people pursue their passions; make sure you stop by Memory Lane at 1412 Erin St. and say “Hello!” to John. 

Apple Self Storage, 1340 Notre Dame Ave. 

Apple Self Storage is family-owned and operated. They opened their location at 1340 Notre Dame Avenue on January 12. With locations in Ontario, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, they decided to open a location in Manitoba because they noticed an increase in storage rentals. They saw how their facilities in other provinces have been able to provide much needed storage solutions and are thrilled to offer the same great services in Winnipeg. Plus, they love the opportunity to become a part of a new community that they can support. Apple Self Storage provides climate control units, and soon will offer Purolator services and Penske Truck rentals. They have convenient access and indoor loading bays to make any loading easier. They also offer additional services like complimentary dollies and moving supplies that can be purchased on-site. There are always specials for customers to take advantage of, too!  

Turtle Woman Indigenous Wear, 1116 Portage Ave. 

April Tawipisim, owner of Turtle Woman Indigenous Wear

After retiring at the age of 55, April Tawipisim moved to Winnipeg and during COVID found herself sewing quite a bit. Having gone to business school, April always knew that she wanted to start her own business. That day came on August 3, 2021, when April opened Turtle Woman Indigenous Wear at 1116 Portage Ave. April knew she wanted her location to be in the West End/St. James area and she wanted to be close to other Indigenous stores, like Dene Cree Designs Inc. and Teekca’s Aboriginal Boutique.  

The store offers primarily ribbon shirts, ribbon skirts, and other pow-wow regalia, but also hats, nurse smocks, bags, coats, and other pieces by Indigenous artists in town and surrounding areas. April also takes custom orders and ships to several provinces across Canada. If you are interested in learning how to make ribbon skirts, beading or moccasin making, April hosts private and group workshops.  

So far, Turtle Woman has done well; April anticipates that business will get busier as pow-wows and conferences come back. If you are interested in April’s work or Turtle Woman Indigenous Wear, feel free to visit April at 1116 Portage Ave. or visit her on Facebook @ Turtle Woman Indigenous Wear. 

Leah Peever Massage, 595 Clifton St. 

Leah Peever has been a massage therapist for 6 years and opened her massage clinic at 595 Clifton St. in August 2020. She does therapeutic remedial massage, meaning if you have an injury or sore area, she can relieve that pain. Additionally, she provides massages targeted at stress relief and relaxation. Her rate is $80 an hour and she direct bills to most insurance companies. If you are interested in visiting Leah, her hours are Monday to Friday, 10 to 3 and 6 to 9. 

Friends Donair and Shawarma, 884 Notre Dame Ave. 

Tahsin Adel, owner of Friends Donair and Shawarma

Tahsin Adel decided to open Friends Donair and Shawarma at 884 Notre Dame Ave. In November because he has worked in the food industry his entire life and has a lot of experience. Tahsin chose Notre Dame because it is close to the hospital and he saw an opportunity.

Friends Donair offers an array of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food, including wraps, platters, and other healthy dishes. So far, business has been steady and the community has been enjoying fresh and healthy food. Right now, you can visit Friends Donair or order through SkipTheDishes and DoorDash. Check them out! 

Seven Cafe – 745 Wall St.

Teddy, owner of Seven Cafe

Seven Cafe is excited to be approaching its one-year anniversary in the West End! This new local coffee shop joins the strip of businesses along Wall Street at 745 Wall Street. Along with your traditional coffee and tea beverages, Seven Cafe also carries an assortment of local desserts, including treats from Goodies Bakeshop just up the street and De Lucas. They are open seven days a week and are a great addition to the neighbourhood.

Vast Market, 407 Carlton St. 

Robel Gebreyesus, owner of Vast Market

Robel Gebreyesus opened Vast Market, a convenience store, at 407 Carlton St in May. Coincidentally, Vast Market is below the apartment building that Robel lived in when he first moved to Canada in 2005. When he found the location, he knew it was meant to be. Beyond that, Robel loves the area: he appreciates how diverse the community is and understands, as he himself is Eritrean, the difficulties immigrants face, trying to find and communicate what they need in a new country. 

“[It] makes me happy serving them and making life easier for them in a sense” – Robel Gebreyesus 

So far, business has been good. Although it has slowed down during the colder months, Robel sees this as an opportunity to continue to find out what people in the area want and need. Right now, Vast Market offers a large selection of products, including what you would expect to see at a convenience store, but also many ethnic products. They also cook food in-house, serving fresh chicken and wedges, with more coming in the near future. With a downtown business, challenges are to be expected; however, again, Robel likes to serve his community and help in any way he can. For those who, for whatever reason, may feel the need to steal, Robel will try to offer food or see if he can assist in another way.