Thyme & Again will launch its second location on May 8, with former Beckta executive chef Michael Moffatt at the helm (he has since been replaced at Beckta by Katie Ardington). Called Thyme & Again Kitchen + Food Shop, the second space at Carling and Broadview allows for the addition of a huge production kitchen, giving the motivated duo lots of leeway to cook up new and exciting events and ideas.
“Our kitchen at the original Thyme & Again is very small, so we’ve been busting at the seams for a while. When our kitchen is over-capacity, we’ve had to say no to wholesale inquiries or turn down catering jobs, which we hate to do, especially for regulars,” explains Thyme & Again owner Sheila Whyte.
“The new space has a food shop, which is great for customers, but the biggest thing for us is the huge production kitchen, which means we can do all of our catering out of there and explore so many other things we want to do.”
“Wine tastings, pop-ups, maybe a supper club — we’re just now thinking through all the possibilities,” says Whyte, hinting at just a few of the ideas she and Moffatt are lobbing back-and-forth.
Having the second location will also mean changes to the original space. “We can do a dinner menu and have people come in and sit down; we can do a small plates night with stand-up stations. We don’t know yet how it will all come together, but we do know that we now have the opportunity to show another side of Thyme & Again,” adds Moffatt.
The seeds for this collaboration were planted five years ago when Whyte and Moffatt met at Algonquin College, where both sat on the culinary management program’s advisory board. Both are hugely ambitious, innovative, and committed to moving the local food scene forwards, and so it was only natural that the two saw each other as kindred spirits and began cooking up ways to work together.
“I’m looking forward to a great back-and-forth with the other chefs,” says Moffatt. “I’m bringing to the table a restaurant-style of food, but I also have to be conscious about how various frozen take-home dishes will work — it’s a whole different science!”
The original Thyme & Again shop is in the bustling heart of Wellington West, which means it hasn’t always been easy to find parking nearby. “It may not be the most exciting thing, but a lot of people who visit the new store will be pretty excited that it has a big parking lot, which makes it so much easier to just pop in and go,” adds Whyte.