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A new expansion project from Gastown aims to serve up more than just gas and ice cream for Yellowknifers.

“We’ll expand and double our square footage for the store and add another 120 square feet alone for the ice cream,” said Gastown owner Jamie Pye, gesturing at an Atco trailer sitting on the north side of the shop. It contains a commercial kitchen with an oven and grill.

“We’re (already) offering ice cream cakes in the store, 16 flavours of hard ice cream, flurries and milkshakes,” said Gastown owner Jamie Pye.

The Atco trailer beside the Gastown shop contains a commercial kitchen that Jamie Pye bought last October. Pending City approval, he hopes to begin selling baked goods in late February or early March. Blair McBride/NNSL photo

The Old Airport Road gas station on Tuesday received initial approval for its development permit application from the City of Yellowknife on Tuesday. A decision on final approval of the permit will be made by council on Jan. 25.

They have big plans for the new space. Pye envisions it becoming a bakery making pastries and custom cakes. He’s even considering serving breakfasts, lunches, and he plans to eventually install a smoker for barbecued and smoked meats.

“It’ll be year-long. We’ll have all kinds of food items available for people this year. We’ll make almost anything people want to see. Anything we sell in store will be freshly made instead of prepackaged stuff.”

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The food service idea has been on Pye’s back burner for a few years. The Covid-19 pandemic sped up his planning process and offered him unexpected opportunities.

Pye took over the gas station and car rental service last September. He bought the grill and then the kitchen two weeks later into October. He’s just waiting for approval from the city to fire it all up.

If the green light comes on Jan. 25, he hopes to open up the new side business at the end of February or in early March.

Once the cooking and baking starts, Pye estimates he’ll look to hire at least four full-time staff and some part-timers.

“I’m just glad we’re in Yellowknife. This is a good place for support from the community. It’ll give us the opportunity to give back to the community as well.”

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