Sunday 16 August 2009

From Nova Scotia to Kuranda

Like myself, Kim and Lesle Kanigan packed their bags to move from colder climates to rest in North Queensland.
"We moved here a year ago and it feels like we're a tourist every day," Kim Kanigan told CairnsBlog. "We love this place and live on the Northern Beaches with our family."
Kim and his partner Lesle, moved from Halifax on the other side of the globe, where temperatures were minus 30, to North Queensland a year ago.
"We set up Stillwater Sweets in Kuranda in March and last week, opened our store on the Cairns Esplanade. We just love this place, and the people here are just amazing," Kim says.
Kim's partner Lesle, is the expert behind Pewter Jewellery, based in Therwine Street, next Annabels pies, whilst Kim looks after the sweet-making.
"Our confection is based on the old fashion Kiss of the 1890 - 1920's. We use a special tropical recipe that I've developed and is suited for this climate," Kim says.

"You have to cook sweets a different way in the tropics. It's very tricky with this heat and humidity in North Queensland," he says. "Ask anyone who tries to make decent icing up here, you have trouble."
Kim says that Australians have seen a lot of the rock lollies franchised here but no soft sweets, especially in Queensland.

"We've bought the original antique machines from Canada. It's called a Model K from circa 1907. There's also another 1938 vintage cut and wrap machine, and you can see us make them every evening in the store," Kim says.

"Our recipe is smooth textured and quite different to any other sweet, and I'm sure anyone can enjoy them."
The sweets are effectively vegan with no dairy products, gluten or animal fat.
"The climate is the opposite of where we've come from and you really feel like you're a tourist every day," Kim said.
"We love Cairns and made huge efforts to move here because we believe it is a truly unique city and a fantastic place for our children to enjoy and settle," Kim and Lesle say. "We thought that Cairns needed a real sweet shop, however tiny, that people could visit to be entertained a bit, and have a little treat while out on the Esplanade, yet not be subjected to over-priced tourist type of prices too."
"We wanted to price for locals more than for passing tourists, and treat people how we would like to be treated, when out enjoying Cairns," Kim says.
And I think he's right, as people seem to be truly delighted to squeeze into the tiny shop and try a sweet. The new Esplanade Sweet store is designed beautifully, down to the fine detail of a old vintage 1920's sweet shop, complete with angled walls and heritage weather boards and outside lights.
You can see sweet-making in the Cairns shop, every night (except Mondays) from 6pm - 9pm.
With new stores like Subway, Gloria Jeans cafe and now Stillwater Sweets, it's a beautiful addition to the once Kebab-ridden Esplanade strip.
NB: No sweets were accepted as payment for the publication of this story. However, we're working on this.

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