Spring Bay’s famed Quintina’s has opened a new location in Gore Bay

Diane and Rick Zimmerman opened their business, Quintina’s, in Gore Bay last week.

GORE BAY—To say Rick and Diane Zimmerman, the owners of Gore Bay’s newest business Quintina’s, have received a huge welcome from the local community would be an understatement.

“We’ve been looking forward to you opening here in Gore Bay. We’ve been waiting for you to open and we are so glad that you are finally here,” was just one of the comments overheard being expressed by a customer in the business last Friday.

“Everything we do is with the priority of customers in mind,” said Ms. Zimmerman. “What we have here draws them in and we want to make sure everyone feels welcome.”

“A lot of people from Gore Bay kept saying we should open a location here,” said Mr. Zimmerman.

The building where Quintina’s is located, (which housed Susan’s previously and the Espanola District Credit Union previous to that), is owned by Manitoulin Transport. “They (Manitoulin Transport) have done everything to accommodate us, everything has been first class.”

It was obvious from the long line of customers for the business opening in Gore Bay (last week), and from line-ups at lunch time Friday, that the cheese that is sold in the store and the grilled cheese sandwiches that Mr. Zimmerman makes with them (and the condiments that complement them) are a big draw for the business.

“We have people from all over the Island who would come to our business location in Spring Bay just to enjoy our grilled cheese sandwiches,” said Mr. Zimmerman.

The cheeses Quintana’s have for sale and for their sandwiches are from distributors all over the world. “These cheeses are made with milk and butter fat and we get them from all over,” said Mr. Zimmerman. There is cheddar cheese from Australia called Old Croc, plus Italian, Germany, Swiss, French, Canadian and Irish varieties.

“We started out by putting some cheese for sale in the fridge to see how much interest there would be. People started coming out of the woodwork to buy our cheeses,” said Ms. Zimmerman, “and it was because of the cheeses we sell that the birth of the grilled cheese took off in our store.”

The store sells infused honey spreads that go great on or with cheese, while there are also preserves, specialty virgin oils from Italy and the village Diane is from, along with specialty deli meats such as ham (delicious) and Gypsy salami (awesome) to go along with the cheeses, and complemented by different flavours of lemonade, tea and coffee.

“We will be having crepes as well as daily specials,” said Mr. Zimmerman.

“I like to target things in the store for people to purchase as gift ideas,” said Ms. Zimmerman, offering the example of towels. The towels are very unique, with sayings on them like “we interrupt this marriage to bring you deer season,” and many more.

There are hand wax candles, leather Anuschka leather bags, lotions and hand creams, some clothing, fabrics and linens, things to complement the cheeses such as cutting boards and knives, as well as stationery items such as journals for sale in the store. 

“I am always looking at what can work as a gift idea,” said Ms. Zimmerman. “Last year at our Spring Bay location we brought in game boards you can’t find in department stores and we will probably be bringing in more here along with puzzles.”

Quintina’s also has a small tearoom type area that can seat about six people. 

The very engaging couple, who are from Brantford, will be operating their Gore Bay location on a year-round basis and will continue to operate Quintina’s Clothier and Guest House in Spring Bay on a May to November basis. “This summer was our fifth summer in Spring Bay and the fourth year we ran the business,” said Ms. Zimmerman, noting the Spring Bay location was previously home to Shelagh’s Interiors and previous to that Patterson’s General Store.

“Our official name is Quintina’s Tea Room and Café,” said Ms. Zimmerman.

Quintana’s will be open six days a week in Gore Bay, closing Sundays.