Gallant’s Shellfish evolves to allow for year-round operation in Charlottetown

Feeding Islanders is at the heart of why Tyler Gallant is moving his restaurant. “We wanted to be be more Island-focused with feeding and producing good quality food for Islanders.”

As I sit to chat with Gallant in the new space for his restaurant and catering business, construction continues around us. We find ourselves in the loading bay area where it’s quietest to have a chat. In fact, the loading bay door and large open space was a big reason why Gallant chose this location, as it will allow him to back in his van, load it up with the gear and food that a catering gig requires, and make his business more efficient.

In 2015 he successfully carved out a niche serving up fresh meals at the Charlottetown Farmers’ Market, and in 2017 Gallant expanded to a spot on the Stanley Bridge Harbour. After two summer seasons there, transitioning his restaurant into town was a decision he didn’t make lightly, but he’s sure it’s the right move for his company. “I’m more excited to be in a different location. Stanley Bridge is picturesque and beautiful and I really love it there, but the potential to do business there is really clustered into a short timeframe in the summer.”

“I set my sights to the edge of Charlottetown, to the perimeter…we’ve got many local businesses in the area, with many employees and we feel that we can provide them with good hearty meals, and healthy meals that they can get quickly and efficiently,” Gallant said.

The new location is just off Mount Edward Road on Superior Crescent, in the heart of the industrial park, a far cry from the scenic beauty of the Stanley Bridge harbour, but Gallant is philosophical about that as well, “The change of scenery is kinda interesting, we’re in a warehouse district and there’s not much to look out of our windows, but we’re hoping to create a small oasis in this area.” He jokes that the autobody shop across the street is “not quite boats bobbing up and down” but doesn’t worry that it will hinder his business.

Another reason for the move is to be able to offer full-time employment to his staff. “I hated hiring people just to know that they would be laid off in a few short months. So this place, we can keep a team going and employ them year-round.”

Gallant’s crab cakes are always favourites Photo credit: Cheryl Young/Salty

In the fall of 2018, Gallant and his partner Christine Murnaghan were one of several Island businesses to be awarded the Ignition Fund, a government grant for business expansion. They have developed seafood sauces to accompany their oysters and shellfish, and production of those sauces will also move to the new spot. Better integration of all aspects of their business, from catering, to the restaurant, to their sauces also helped form their decision to move. A name change for the new spot, to Gallant’s & Co, reflects that integration. Their tagline for the new restaurant is ‘Island Food to Go’.

The restaurant will be open Monday to Friday and the Farmers’ Market stall will stay active on Saturdays. The menu will feature the favourites that diners have come to expect from him— like crab cakes, lobster grilled cheese, and smoked salmon on a bagel—and will have “grab and go” options for the busy person who may not have time to sit and eat.

The new location is also an accessible spot which, for Gallant, is important. “My grandmother is close to 90 years old and I love to eat lunch with her, and one of the considerations [for the restaurant] is ‘how many steps, how far it is from a parking lot’. We’re fortunate to have some parking spots right out front and we’re all on one level so hopefully we’ll see her in for lunch,” Gallant chuckles.

About Cheryl Young

A “Jill of all trades” describes Cheryl to a T. From operating her own handyperson company, to selling luxury cars, to working as a film and TV crew member, her resume is diverse. But her dream as a kid was to be a journalist and she started down that path many years ago at CBC Charlottetown. Returning to her journalism roots, she’s excited to be editing Salty’s content and occasionally writing herself.

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