By Sophie Mir
In this edition of Concept Watch, we look at three very different operations that nevertheless share a penchant for striking branding and a commitment to serving an accessible, quality product. Loading charcoal-laced cones with brightly-hued soft serve, Toronto-based iHalo Krunch is tailor-made for social media consumption, while Vancouver’s Glory Juice Co.’s shops look like something between a laboratory and a Scandinavian design studio — clean lines, earth tones and plenty of white space. By contrast, Calgary-based Bro’Kin Yolk counts on comforting brunch and lunch classics that largely revolve around its namesake. Keep reading to find out what makes each concept stand out, and what makes each concept successful.
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Locations: 2 (Toronto and Concord, Ontario)
- Defined by its brightly-hued, Instagram-friendly soft serve and matte charcoal cones.
- Provides on-site catering services for corporate events, weddings and other parties.
- Donates a portion of its monthly proceeds to not-for-profit organizations.
- iHalo’s signature black cone gets its colour from activated charcoal derived from coconut husk.
- Distinct flavours include Ube All the Way, made from sweet purple yam; Meet Your Matcha, a classic Japanese green tea that contains caffeine; Black on Black, a subtly-flavoured coconut ice cream dyed black with activated charcoal; and Bean There, Done That, featuring rich, flavourful vanilla bean.
- Old-school twists made with iHalo’s new-school flavours make for mashups like Ube- and Matcha-Nut.
- Limited releases mark holidays and special occasions, like the iHaloween Cone, a pumpkin spice cone with proceeds going to charity, and Canadian Bean, a red vanilla bean twist to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.
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Locations: 5 (Vancouver and North Vancouver, British Columbia)
- Juice bar specializing in organic beverages and fare with a focus on wellness.
- Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- Delivery offered through third-party apps, including DoorDash and Foodora, at select locations.
- Online merchandise includes organic juice cleanses, beverages and packaged food, beauty products and Vitamin C supplements.
- Cold-pressed juice with low-key names, like the #3, made with apple, lemon, kale, cucumber, celery and ginger, and #8, made with orange, grapefruit and lime.
- Superfood-laden smoothies like matcha, blueberry-maca, berry-beet-acai, raspberry-hemp, and richer options like the chocolate nutter.
- Salads feature hearty vegetables and pulses, including lentils, kale and cauliflower.
- Acai bowls are loaded with raspberries, blueberries and banana with different milks or juices.
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Locations: 2 (Calgary)
- Family-owned brand serving locally-sourced fare in a comfortable and friendly atmosphere.
- No reservations taken, but a mobile waitlist system enables customers to hold their spot in line.
- Gives back to community through partnerships with nonprofit and not-for profit organizations like Mealshare and KidSport Calgary.
- Bacon, salmon and ham eggs Benedicts are served on housemade Belgian waffles with a healthy side, like an arugula and beet salad, or heartier options like duck fat hash.
- Diner classics like French toast, waffles and hashes, as well as the less traditional Bro’s Breakfast, made with jasmine rice and pork belly adobo.
- A kids’ menu features Fruit Loops cereal, more French toast and chicken strips with hash — the kind of food kids want to eat.
- A salmon sandwich, B.E.L.T., burger and open-face avocado, like the Benedicts, also come with a side.