French-Vietnamese eatery to open on the Ave Jasmine Belle Cafe to offer bubble tea and more

HAMDI ISSAWI

Next month, the building that housed Natalia’s Hair Salon will re-open as Jasmine Belle Cafe, a French-Vietnamese eatery and coffee shop.

Located on the northwest corner of 87 Street and Alberta Avenue, across from Handy Bakery, the cafe will serve breakfast and lunch with fare from both cultures, said owner and operator Joanna Nguyen-Savoie.

Inspired by her family’s French and Vietnamese roots, Nguyen-Savoie said she plans to offer everything from pho and French bread to Vietnamese drip coffee and macarons.

“Basically, we want to bring something beautiful and pretty into 118 Avenue,” Nguyen-Savoie said. “It’s going to be a mixture of goodness.”

The cafe will also introduce the Avenue to bubble tea: a flavoured, iced tea made with milk and tapioca balls. The idea to add the specialty drink to the menu came to Nguyen-Savoie in the fall. Her month-long tour of Asia included a stop in Taiwan, the home of bubble tea.

“I said, ‘You know what? There’s nothing like that on 118 Avenue. Why don’t I just bring it for people here?’ ”

Drinks and desserts aside, Nguyen-Savoie said she wants neighbourhood residents to have another family-friendly destination in the area. With ample seating and plans for a patio, she hopes the community will see her store as more than just a shop.

“I feel like this area is missing something where families, like children and parents, can go and sit down and have a good time playing games or a place to read a book,” she said. “There’s a lot of mixture of people and it’s kind of a convenient location too—right in the middle of everything. So hopefully people will come here.”

Parking is limited to City of Edmonton stalls, so visitors might be better off walking or cycling (weather permitting) since bike racks are available nearby.

The cafe is also looking for staff to fill part-time positions. No experience is required, and applicants can submit their resumes in person, once the cafe is open, or by email to joanna.nguyen@gmail.com.

Sierra Bilton

Sierra is a Communications student specializing in Journalism at MacEwan University. She has a particular love of the art and culture found nestled in Edmonton's Alberta Avenue communities and beyond.

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