Blue Apples Arts and Wellness Centre is a unique and vibrant business in the heart of Downtown Halifax. The main floor of the business is an herbal apothecary – selling organic/wild harvested herbs, teas and spices from all over the world. They also sell local art, stones, and a variety of natural products (soaps, lotions etc.). The main floor of Blue Apples additionally houses a lovely wellness centre, where they provide a number of services, including; Acupuncture, Massage Therapy, Nutrition, Herbal Medicine and Ayurvedic consultations. On the second floor, above all of this great stuff, is a fully vegan restaurant serving up natural healthy whole food!
The name, Blue Apples, comes as a reference from a mysterious parchment found in Rennes Le Chateau, France. Although the meaning is complex and multi-faceted, and maybe not fully understood, Founder and Co-owner, Danial Wiseman says;
“We feel that the inner core of the mysterious Blue Apples may simply represent all that ignites our inner spark: The tools that propel human and planetary evolution. This is what provokes us to make available many of our planet’s most powerful gifts in their raw form, in an attempt to reunite people with the healing powers of the earth and the processes necessary to harness them.
By promoting a healthy mind, body and spirit with a reconnection to healing and spiritual growth using plants, fungi and minerals, we hope to play a beneficial role in assisting both personal and universal progress and harmony.”
It has been several years in the making, leading to where Blue Apples is now. Founder and Co-owner, Danial Wiseman started this project as an online store. Danial is an Herbalist, and has an immense and incredibly contagious passion for plants and the natural world. This passion led him to selling high quality herbs, spices and teas online. As his passion for herbs and plants grew, so did Blue Apples. Danial began selling his goods at the local Farmers Market, and rented a small storefront, where he also began taking patients, providing them with personalized plans to bring balance to their health.
About a year later, Danial and co-owner Michelle Doucette decided it was time to continue growing, and they moved to a new location. They added a small café/tea bar, and began hosting events, and yoga classes. Blue Apples very quickly became a comfortable, safe community space where people could gather and share ideas and stories over a warm cup of tea, or a healthy soup made with local produce.
Once again, after about a year in this location, Blue Apples was gathering a large following, and they outgrew this space. A wonderful, two story building across the street came up for rent, and Blue Apples packed up and moved in to where they currently are now!
Blue Apples has their standards set high, with a focus on quality of ingredients set as their top priority. They work very hard to make sure that their products come from sustainable/ethical sources and all of the herbs, teas and spices they sell are all certified organic or wild harvested. They package their products in biodegradable bags or recyclable glass containers, and give a discount if you bring your own packaging. Their herbs and teas are of the highest quality, and their spices much more potent than anything I’ve bought anywhere else!
The café upstairs at Blue Apples serves up great, affordable, vegan food, carrying the same standard. Most of the food used in their kitchen is organic as well, relying on many suppliers to be able to do so. All of their grains, nuts/seeds, and oils are organic and of the highest quality. And they use the great organic spices sold downstairs in their kitchen. Blue Apples works with local suppliers as well, with strong connections to local farms. Most of their produce is delivered straight from farms to their door.
The menu at Blue Apples has something for everyone, and is sure to please any palate. They have some vegan takes on classic comfort foods. Their Grilled “Cheese” Sandwich features house made vegan cashew “notzerella cheese”, sautéed onions and peppers, spinach and a zesty avocado spread, sandwiched between 2 slices of organic, locally made sourdough bread, and grilled to golden delicious perfection.
Pictured below is the most popular dish at Blue Apples, the Ginger Garlic Tofu Bowl. Served on a bed of organic brown rice, the dish is piled high with steamed greens, shaved cabbage and carrots, marinated tofu and onions, and smothered in their famous house made hippy sauce (a savory tamari based sauce with hints of garlic and ginger). Finally, the bowl is topped with fresh sprouts grown right in their own kitchen!
Have a sweet tooth? Blue Apples has you covered! They have a wide selection of treats, and best of all, all of their desserts are free of refined sugar! They only use maple syrup, dates or bananas to sweeten their desserts.
With a focus on health, and no compromise on flavour, Blue Apples is a great place to eat, whether your new to plant based eating or not. They love to explain the benefits of plant based diets, and are happy to answer any questions new guests may have.
Education is one of the key pillars of Blue Apples. The staff love to share their knowledge and their passions, and love soaking up the passions of others. Blue Apples continues to offer workshops and classes, taught by some of their staff, but also from others who chose to rent their space for their own classes. Some classes they have held include:
- Group Yoga Classes
- Shamanic Drumming Circles
- Ancient Sound Healing Ceremonies
- Meditation Classes
- Dream Talks – building a stronger lucid dreaming practice
- Medicine Making
- Fermentation Workshops (making sauerkraut, Kombucha etc.)
- Astrology Discussions.
Blue Apples has also become a great community hub for open discussions and networking. They have held gatherings for local activists, they host a monthly meeting centred around food politics and sustainability, and their space has been used for all sorts of other networking events.
Last, but certainly not least, Blue Apples is home to the works of dozens of local artists, ranging from small prints for sale, to large paintings on display around the café! Creative expression is the glue that holds Blue Apples together, and one cannot help but notice the colourful, expressive and ever changing environment in the building. All of the staff at Blue Apples are also artists and or musicians, and all contribute to the creative, inviting atmosphere.
Whether you’re hungry and need a bite to eat, you’re not feeling well and need some support, or you just need an inviting place to hang out, Blue Apples is the place for you! And before you leave, be sure to leave some love or inspiration on the bathroom walls, as they are equipped with markers for just that reason!
Justin teaches workshops and cooking classes, and works with people one on one, helping them develop personalized nutrition and meal plans. He works closely with Local Farms, using whatever fresh goodies they have in season, and has started to get into harvesting wild foods! Justin hopes to inspire others to walk the green path, eat with the seasons, and live mindfully.
With an interest in Public Health, Justin has plans to study Health Promotion and Policy, with hopes to help shape positive change in society. In the meantime, his focus is in healthy living, and community building, which will lay the ground work for new great things to come.
If you have any questions or would like to contact me, you can email me at: