Spotlight_Vol 23_Issue_3

Gabrieau’s Bistro has won many awards including Restaurant of the Year from Taste of Nova Scotia, Outstanding Customer Service Award from Antig - onish Chamber of Commerce, and the Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator Magazine. One award that Chef Mark takes a lot of pride in is the Ethics in Business Award presented by the Better Business Bureau of Atlantic Canada. The bureau accounted for every little section of the business from the employee manual to their mission state - ment. It was a great honour for Gabrieau’s Bistro to win this award because it showed their core values and how well they support their employ - ees. Chef Mark says they are very fortunate to keep being recognized at this level as they contin - ue to win awards throughout the years. Mark and Karen have also explored other busi - ness ventures after opening Gabrieau’s Bistro twenty-four years ago. In the early 2000s, around the time Chef Mark became a certified sommeli - er, they built an independent mobile kitchen. The mobile kitchen was supplied with propane stoves, ovens, freezers, and a walk-in fridge with gen - erators for electricity. This allowed hem to cater for large events, up to 500 people at times. The catering business was remarkably successful, and they served three-course meals across Nova Scotia for many years. Mark and Karen retired the catering business in 2016. In 2002, they opened a retail store called Gabrieau’s Culinary Closet with high end kitchen essentials from appliances to utensils. While the retail store unfortunately did not generate the sales he hoped for, Chef Mark was grateful for the customers who supported them until the store closure in 2011. Some driving hours just to shop there. “Those who supported us, supported us a lot,” he says. “Looking back, maybe it wasn’t the right thing at the right time. But we enjoyed it.” In the early 2000s, Mark and Karen also started a partnership rental company that they still have today. They own 5 houses, the building that’s home to Gabrieau’s Bistro, and a 4-unit rental building. “We just want to have fun.”

“Both my mother and my grandmother were amazing cooks.”





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